“Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long. For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.” (KJV).
I often say that Proverbs is God’s wisdom for daily living. But lest we think that the book is limited only to the here and now, Solomon reminds us to look towards the future as well. The NKJV version of that verse says, “For surely there is a hereafter, and your hope will not be cut off.” Translation = this life is not all there is! There is life after death, and after we live our lives on planet Earth, we have the hope of everlasting life in Heaven.
I’ll never forget the fall after I graduated from high school. I was at an all-nighter drive-in with some friends and sat down with one of them and said, “You know, there’s got to be more to life than just partying, getting drunk, and dating girls.” Less than a month later, I had a life-changing encounter with the Lord Jesus that was the beginning of my Christian walk.
Another book that Solomon wrote is Ecclesiastes, where he takes his readers on a search to find the meaning of life. He writes:
“I said to myself, “Come now, let’s give pleasure a try. Let’s look for the ‘good things’ in life.” But I found that this, too, was meaningless… After much thought, I decided to cheer myself with wine. While still seeking wisdom, I clutched at foolishness. In this way, I hoped to experience the only happiness most people find during their brief life in this world. I also tried to find meaning by building huge homes for myself and by planting beautiful vineyards. I made gardens and parks, filling them with all kinds of fruit trees. I built reservoirs to collect the water to irrigate my many flourishing groves… I collected great sums of silver and gold, the treasure of many kings and provinces. I hired wonderful singers, both men and women, and had many beautiful concubines. I had everything a man could desire! So I became greater than any of the kings who ruled in Jerusalem before me. And with it all, I remained clear-eyed so that I could evaluate all these things… I did not restrain myself from any joy. I even found great pleasure in hard work, an additional reward for all my labors. But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless. It was like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere.” (Ecclesiastes 2:1-11).
Solomon looked for meaning and satisfaction in pleasure, drinking, possessions, money and hard work, but didn’t find it there. After twelve chapters searching for the meaning of life, he writes: “Here is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is the duty of every person. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).