Pleasure Comes from God (Ecclesiastes 2:11) - Radical

Pleasure Comes from God (Ecclesiastes 2:11)

“That I considered all that my hands had done. And the toil that I had expended in doing it, and behold all was vanity and a striving after wind. And there was nothing to be gained under the sun.”
– Ecclesiastes 2:11

Oh, what a verse to meditate on and pray according to on Good Friday. Here in verse 11, Solomon who’s the author of Ecclesiastes is considering all the ways he has sought in the world to satisfy himself. And he basically describes different pursuits and possessions and pleasures he has sought in the world. And he gets to the end. He says, “I’ve done everything. Whatever my eyes desired, I did not keep from them. I went after everything I saw.” He says in verse 10, “And then I looked back and it was all vanity. It was all a striving after the wind. There was nothing to be gained under the sun.”

Ecclesiastes 2:11 Reveals Where True Satisfaction is Found

What a picture for you and I to see today that when we look around the world and all that it offers, everything. This is like Jesus saying to us, “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world?” Like you can have it all. And yet Jesus says, “Lose your soul. Miss the whole point.” This verse shouting to you and me, not to spend our lives running after all the pursuits and sessions and pleasures of the world that will ultimately be found empty.

Take it from Solomon. He had it all. He says, “It’s all empty in the end.” So what does this have to do with Good Friday? Here’s what this has to do with Good Friday. Our souls were made for satisfaction in one place, and that’s in relationship with God, and the satisfaction that only God himself can bring. And Jesus went to a cross to pay the price for all of our sins against God.

Ecclesiastes 2:11 Leads Us to Turn from Sin

All of our turning aside from God, in his ways to ourselves and our own ways. Jesus went to pay the price for our separation from God that we deserve, so that through faith in Jesus and what he did on the cross and his subsequent resurrection from the grave, you and I can be reconciled to God. And in reconciliation to God, we can have our souls satisfied in a way that is far greater than anything everything else in this world put together could ever satisfy us.

Our souls are made for satisfaction in God. And when Jesus died on the cross, as we reflect on that reality, as we reflect on that day on this Good Friday and the curtain of the temple was torn into, and the way was made open for sinners to be restored to relationship with God. The way was made open, not just to be forgiven of our sins, but to have our souls satisfied in God, in a way that far outweighs everything else in this world.

Praising Christ for the Cross

So we pause today, Lord Jesus, to praise you for the cross. We praise you for taking our sin upon yourself. For standing as our substitute. For enduring the judgment and wrath and separation we deserve, so that through faith in you right now, we could have access to the throne room of God. So that we can be restored to relationship with you.

Oh God, we praise you for relationship with you. We praise you for the joy and the satisfaction that are found in you, that are found nowhere else in this world. We say that together right now, based on Ecclesiastes 2:11, nothing in this world satisfies like you. So help us daily to die to ourselves, daily, to turn aside from the pursuits and pleasures and possessions of this world in any way that keeps us from pursuit of you. From finding our greatest possession in you. From finding our deepest pleasure in you.

Praising God for His Work

Jesus, we praise you from making this possible. Not only now, but for all of eternity. For all of our trust in you. And God we pray you would help us to proclaim this to others. God, we pray, especially on this Easter weekend, that many people would come to know Jesus, they would put their faith in Jesus. They would turn aside from the pursuits and possessions and pleasures of this world to find in you the satisfaction of their soul.

Help us to invite people to come with us to church on Sunday. May many people come to know Christ and gospel proclaiming, Bible believing churches here around the world. May unreached people who’ve never heard this good news be reached with it. God, we pray for the spread of the good news of Good Friday. That people might find meaning, purpose, pleasure, and the greatest possession possible in you through the gospel. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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