Worldly Pleasures Tried
In Solomon’s quest to find real peace, happiness, hope, and joy in his life, he tried things which he thinks could fill up the gap or the void space in his heart. Today, we will take a look at physical pleasures which he tried after communing with his heart. Pleasure is good and can give us temporary enjoyment and satisfaction but it will never last and has costly consequences.
Illustration: Teachings of Epicurus
The Epicureans were followers of Epicurus who lived 341-270 B.C. He taught that nothing exists but atoms and space. The atoms are eternally forming new combinations which are only temporary and in the case of human beings are broken up at death. Then, Epicurus taught, the soul or personality
reversed to the impersonal atoms which went on to form new combinations.
Thus, matter is all that matters. This life is all that counts and man should make happiness his chief purpose in life. Happiness might be gained for some by indulging in sensual pleasure and avoidance of pain. Others, more high-minded, might attain happiness from mental and intellectual pursuits. If death ended all, they reasoned, why not indulge the flesh today? (Luke 12:19; Acts 17:18)
Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations: Signs of the Times.
A. Pleasure means enjoyment; that which pleases (Gen. 18:17; Deut. 23:24; 1 Chr. 29:17; Est. 1:8; Ps. 147:11; Pr. 21:17; Rev. 4:11).
B. The word “pleasure” is used to describe lawful enjoyment (Gen. 18:12; 2Cor. 12:10), as well as unlawful (2 Thess. 2:12; 1 Tim. 5:6; 2 Pet. 2:13).
C. To experience pleasure, Solomon tried the following:
1. Mirth which is the lightness of life, laughter, glee (Eccl. 2:2). Mirth is frequently associated with worldly and sinful pleasure (Pr. 14:13; Ec. 2:1,2; 7:4; 8:15; Is. 24:8,11; Jer. 7:34; 16:9; 25:10).
2. Wine (Eccl. 2:3). He tried to be drunk but with limitation.
3. He made many things – 2:4-6
a. Houses, vineyards, gardens, orchards, water pools
b. 1 Ki 7:1-12; 9:15-19 gives us additional information about his grand
4. He acquired whatever he desired – 2:5-8
a. Servants, livestock, silver, gold, treasures, singers, and “the delights of the sons of men”
b. I would include here “sex” for he has seven hundred wives and three
c. 1 Kings 9:28; 10:10,14,21,27; 11:1-3 for me describes the vast amount of
Solomon’s material and personal properties which other Kings before him
did not have and enjoyed.
D. He became great and seemed to be happy – 2:9-10
a. Greater than any before him, while maintaining his wisdom
b. Having all his eyes and heart desired, finding enjoyment in
c. Imagine a very rich and powerful man surrounding himself with all things he can think of to make himself happy.
E. Pleasure is not wrong, God wants us to enjoy life. John 10:10 speaks of “an abundant life…”
F. However, pleasure can cause disruption in our spiritual life. Too much worldly pleasure can affect our spiritual growth, spiritual life, and can hinder our prayer life.
G. Pleasure can make us think everything is alright but the reality is we are drifting away from God. The illustration below is a painful reality.
Illustration: Circumstances Then And Now
In 1942, when London was being blitzed, an article appeared in one of the British newspapers, which was widely quoted on this side of the Atlantic. It may not be out of place to republish this searching statement:
“We have been a pleasure-loving people, dishonoring God’s day, picnicking and bathing—now the seashore is barred; no picnics, no bathing.
“We have preferred motor travel to church-going—now there is a shortage of motor fuel.
“We have ignored the ringing of church bells calling us to worship—now the bells cannot ring except to warn us of invasion.
“We have left our churches half-empty when they should have been well filled with worshippers— now they are in ruins.
“We would not listen to the way of peace—now we are forced to listen to the way of war.
“The money we would not give to the Lord’s work now is taken from us in higher taxes and high cost of living.
“The food for which we refused to give God thanks—now is unobtainable.
“The service we refused to give God is now conscribed for our country.
“Lives we refused to live under God’s control—now are under the nation’s control.
“Nights we would not spend watching unto prayer—now are spent in anxious air raid precautions.”
Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations: Signs of the Times.
II. What he found out or concluded
A. Pleasure is vanity
B. Laughter and mirth is madness
C. Regarding wine, we read his findings in Proverbs 23:31-32 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. Also, Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
D. Solomon rejoices in his works ( 2:10-11), but in 2:18,20,22 he “hates” them! Why? Because earthly effort will fail, fade, and forever pass away!
E. In everything he did, his final say is all is vanity and vexation to the spirit. Nothing really satisfies and give solid happiness.
F. Of course the above mentioned things he did provided a moment of joy and
satisfaction. However, it did not last. The wisest, wealthiest, and most powerful man in earth during that time did not find real joy, peace, happiness and satisfaction.
III. Results of Pleasure seeking life
A. Poverty (Pr. 21:17; Isa. 22:13)
B. False Security (Isa. 47:8-9)
C. Spiritual Barrenness (Lk. 8:14)
D. Presumption (Lk. 12:19)
E. Spiritual Death (1 Tim. 5:6; 2 Tim. 3:4; Tit. 3:3; Jas. 5:5)
F. Desire for Incessant Revelry (2 Pet. 2:13)
Worldly or physical pleasure cannot give lasting peace, joy, hope and happiness. Only Christ can gives this to us and much more than you can think of and imagine. Will you come to Christ? Try Him, He is waiting for you.