Sense of Senseless

Written By: Chris Mace

Carrying Place, Hancock Maine

“Rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full. Then the water returns again to the rivers and flows out again to the sea.” (Ecclesiastes 1)

That statement is a fragmented thought from King Solomon’s larger assessment of life’s meaningless monotony. Despite power and wealth, both Solomon and his father, King David, expressed some surprisingly humble discoveries about purpose and meaning.

David extolled God’s role in life in his celebratory Psalm 24. He humbly worshiped God as the awesome Sovereign and Creator and the powerful King of Glory: “The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein…Who is this King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle!”

Realizing his own moral inadequacy and redemptive powerlessness and recognizing God’s unique loving and merciful character, David discerned that those with “clean hands” and “pure hearts,” those of honesty and integrity, those who adhere to truth, and those who seek God, will be the ones blessed with God’s righteousness and salvation. (Psalm 24:1-9)

Solomon’s intelligence, wealth, and status along with an adventurous and willful spirit enabled him to explore and experiment with his amazing life but more importantly to insightfully assess it. His deliberate detours around God had left him with an inner emptiness and led him to a startlingly, disconcerting conclusion! “Everything is meaningless…completely meaningless!” “Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content.” (Ecclesiastes 1:1-8)

Surprisingly, his negative observations did not depress but invigorated his spirit. He said, “Be careful, for writing books is endless, and much study wears you out. That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty…” (Ecclesiastes 12:12-14)

Solomon eventually got it! Reverential fear of God’s holiness amplifies the fact that we are unholy. We are morally flawed and in need of God’s mercy. Both Kings spoke of God’s amazing grace and love for miserable humanity. It exceeds understanding. Jesus told Nicodemus that God loved the world so much that he gave His Son to take His holy wrath for our sins upon Christ so that we would never be condemned. (John 3:16-17)

Life will continue its natural cycles; night will follow day; seasons will continue to change; the rivers will flow and be replenished. But underneath the routine, the regularity, the boring, and the monotonous, lies a powerful, meaningful grandness and future when lived within God’s love and purpose which is to redeem and restore humanity so we can know and enjoy Him forever.

If we are created in God’s image, we should understand who we are meant to be. Seeking God is life’s major purpose. He makes sense out of what may sometimes seem senseless.

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