Only God gives true satisfaction in life. In Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 we read, “Behold, what I have seen to be 25 SATISFACTIONgood and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot. Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God. For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart.” this is interesting because God is rarely mentioned when Solomon bemoans life under the sun. Under the sun depicts a life devoid of God. Life is different when we recognize God as the giver of all good gifts and acknowledge Him in our lives.

Everything we have is a gift from God whether we acknowledge it or not. Each of us have our own unique blessings in life but the true enjoyment of them is only realized when God is recognized as the source. I think this is what Solomon is getting at as he opens Chapter 6. He has already emphasized the truth that there is no real satisfaction under the sun. There are many things in life that are satisfying, but God withholds the pleasure of many of life’s good things until we acknowledge the source: God! Ecclesiastes 6:1-2, says, “There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, and it lies heavy on mankind: a man to whom God gives wealth, possessions, and honor, so that he lacks nothing of all that he desires, yet God does not give him power to enjoy them…This is vanity; it is a grievous evil.”

The good things of life do not automatically bring happiness, contentment, satisfaction, or a lasting benefit! Rather, they can bring unhappiness, ingratitude, restlessness, and grief. A perfect example of this is Howard Hughes (1905-1976). One commentator described his life. “At age 45, Hughes was one of the most glamorous men in America. He dated actresses, piloted exotic test aircraft, and worked on top-secret CIA contracts. He owned a string of hotels around the world, and even an airline—TWA—to carry him on global jaunts. Twenty years later, at age 65, Howard Hughes still had plenty of money—$2.3 billion to be exact. But the world’s richest man had become one of its most pathetic. He lived in small dark rooms atop his hotels, without sun and without joy. He was unkempt: a scraggly beard had grown waist-length, his hair fell down his back, and his fingernails were two inches long. His once powerful 6’4” frame had shrunk to about 100 pounds. This famous man spent most of his time watching movies over and over, with the same movie showing as many as 150 times. He lay naked in bed, deathly afraid of germs. Life held no meaning for him. Finally, wasting away and hooked on drugs, he died at age 67 for lack of a medical device his own company had helped to develop.” He had everything he needed but enjoyed none of it. This is what happens when God is left out of the equation. All that this world has to offer can be incredibly empty and unsatisfying. It can be vanity!