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The Goal of Your Life
by Stan L. Caldwell

In reading Ecclesiastes of the Old Testament it is certain that there should be a goal in our life. The Preacher of that text, evidently Solomon, looked for happiness, contentment and meaning in life. He sought it in various places. In the first couple of chapters we see him looking for fulfillment in having fame, wisdom, mirth, great works and fortune. But he could not be satisfied and he had these things to the fullest with reason. He saw that all was madness and folly and vexation of spirit and vanity. He could see that a man's work was rewarding to him and God meant for him to enjoy the fruit of his labors here on earth. He saw that a wise man was better than a fool and that learning lessons from the house of mourning was far better than enjoying the pleasures of sin or just having good times in the house of feasting. But he realized there had to be more to life than all this.

I am reminded of our day. Men seek for the good life. They certainly want an education so they can get a good job and have money, family and all the good things of this earth. In many respects they are like Solomon. They may have money, family, houses, education and do great things among men. They may lay up treasure and have security for old age. They may vacation in the best resorts and have all men look up to them. But they will eventually realize there is something more that is needed.

Do you see the thrust of Ecclesiastes? The Preacher is talking mainly through the book of things under the sun or on this earth or in this life. Note for example Eccl. 5:18, "Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion." All the things we have been talking about are fine in their place with moderation for this life. It is sad that the search most men make on earth has to do with their days on this earth.

The Preacher makes a point that when we view things from the above standpoint, we are no better than the animals and that righteousness is no better than unrighteousness for at times the wicked prosper and live long lives and all of us, including animals, have the same end in physical death. Thus, all is vanity and striving after the wind even if one gains these things to the fullest.

But there is something better, as a goal in life. This should take priority and govern our everyday living. It is found in his conclusion in Eccl. 12:13-14. "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." Now think of your life. Do you cheat, steal, misrepresent things to get your way in life or do you hunger and thirst for righteousness? Are you laying up treasure here or in heaven? In our search for the good life let us fear God, keep his commandments that we may have good in time and eternity!

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