If God has created us to work for his glory, how should we then work? First, Solomon says, enjoy your work and the fruit of it, because both are a gift from the hand of God. Rather than fretting over what would become of all his work, Solomon learned to consider God’s gift of today: to eat, to drink, to enjoy what God has given. In looking back on the perils of his work and the subsequent fruit of his labors, Martin Luther did not recount how arduous his work was but instead said, “I simply taught, preached, and wrote God’s Word; otherwise I did nothing. And while I slept, or drank … beer with my friends … the Word [did its work].” Work hard, find enjoyment in it (as best you can), and then enjoy a meal and good drink with friends, thanking God for his gracious providence, “for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment”? (2:25).
Tag Archives: Solomon
What Does It Profit?
What Solomon faced is not unique but common to us all. How often do we look for significance in the wisdom and ways of this world, when all that we need we have in Christ. How often are we frustrated with this life, because it’s not heaven? How often do we pursue gain in this world forgetting that the way of the world is death but the way of the cross is life? Jesus said,
If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? (Mark 8:34-36).
Indeed, the greatest gain is given: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
The Folly of Worldly Temptations
Looking back on his life, Solomon saw clearly the brevity of life, the futility of worldliness, indeed the vanity of all under the sun. The story of his life told a tragedy of misspent blessing, but it need not be repeated. What is the story of your life telling? Is it one of faith, surrender, and dependence upon our Lord, characterized by forgiveness and love? Is it worthy of Christlike imitation? Or does it tell the story of vanity, striving after the wind, nothing gained under the sun?
For the Love of God
This is of course good news for all who are in Christ and joyfully under his reign. But it is not good news for his enemies, all who reject his gospel freely offered, his righteous rule graciously given. And as Zion is the dwelling place of God, to whom Christ has given “the keys of the kingdom of heaven” and the authority to bind and loose on earth as in heaven (Matt. 16:19), all who reject the gospel of Christ’s church will be clothed with shame. But the love of God shines forth in his dwelling presence, for Christ and his body are one (1 Cor. 12:27). But where there is no love for Christ’s church, there is no love of God (1 Jn. 4:7-12). Therefore, for the love of God, “let us love one another” (1 Jn. 4:7a), enjoying the dwelling place and presence of the Lord forever.
The Purpose of God’s Favor
Just as God drew the queen of Sheba to Israel to witness God’s favor upon Solomon, so God has bestowed His favor in the gospel of Jesus Christ” in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). While the queen of the South came to behold the favor of God in the son of David, the faithful Son of David, the eternal Son of God commands His Church: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:18-20).