As a new year is about to dawn, it’s time to take stock of life. It’s time to set some resolutions to do better than we have. To do that, we have to take a look at what we’ve done in the past.
The book is Ecclesiastes. The author, though unnamed, is Solomon. Solomon means, “peaceful”. The problem is that at this time in Solomon’s life, he is anything but peaceful. He has messed up his life big time. He loves women. He loves them so much it seems he’s married every one he fancied. The Bible records that he had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines – a thousand women who called Solomon “husband”.
And you thought you had problems.
One of the biggest troubles his women brought him was the worship of foreign gods. If you love your wife, won’t you do anything to please her? Women, wouldn’t you like to bring happiness to your husbands? Solomon did this by building monuments to all the foreign gods his wives worshiped.
God was not pleased with this situation.
The result was that as Solomon examined his own life, he was filled with regret and frustration. He had traded his allegiance to God for loyalty to a thousand others. And as the opening verses show, the chase for fulfillment always turned up empty.
There is always a lesson in God’s rebukes. If you’re a child of God and get one, it’s God’s way of refining you into a more Christlike person. If you’re not a follower of Jesus, and God brings suffering into your life, it’s to get your attention. The message in both cases is that of all the things in the world, of all the striving you can do, nothing satisfies so much as resting on Christ to make you right with God.
So ahead and make those resolutions. Strive to be better. If you’re a Christian, God put that desire in your heart. But don’t lose your cool if you fail. Remember, Jesus paid for all the guilt you feel. Don’t forget that if you commit your work to Him, you’ll have the success He wants you to have. Pray for strength to do it. Then go forward as Paul did and say, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me the strength”.
Here’s to a great 2012!