I am bad at riddles but good at puzzles – but what is the difference between riddles and puzzles? The internet says riddles are questions that require creative thinking to answer, while puzzles are challenges, games or toys with many parts. The solution to a puzzle is revealed when the parts are put together in the right way.
In the Bible, Ecclesiastes, the work of King Solomon, is a puzzle. He opens with these shocking words: “Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!” (Eccl. 1:2); and adds that: “I observed everything going on under the sun… it is all meaningless – like chasing the wind” (Eccl. 1:14).
In Ecclesiastes, Solomon preaches that AS there is no final reward in trying to catch the wind, there is no eternal reward spending all of our time seeking after money, career, fame, pleasure, and even wisdom (including knowledge).
However, Solomon also tells us the one thing that is NOT meaningless chasing after the wind: “Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad” (Eccl. 12:13-14).
Solomon concludes, that our relationship with God is the only MEANINGFUL thing, because there is a final eternal reward attached to chasing after God. This is the key to understanding the puzzle that is the book of Ecclesiastes.
Praise God for this piece of wisdom from Solomon – may we be guided by it, as we pursue money and many other ambitions in this life, Amen!