10 Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart rejoiced in all my labor; And this was my reward from all my labor. 11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done And on the labor in which I had toiled; And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 2:10-11)
King Solomon was wise, wealthy and powerful. In wisdom he considered the purpose of life in an effort to know “what was good for the sons of men to do under heaven all the days of their lives” (Eccl. 2:3). He discovered that indulging his pleasures and rewarding his labors did not satisfy his deepest yearning for fulfillment. He worked hard and he rewarded himself with material goods. By doing so he learned that material things are only temporary and cannot fulfill life’s purpose. Honest labor is good, and to enjoy the fruit of one’s labor is honorable. But, acquiring material goods is not the defining objective of life. Material things can never satisfy life’s purpose for those who are made in the image of God. Finding life’s meaning in material gain is like trying to catch the wind. “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all” (Eccl. 12:13).