Supreme Satisfaction (Ecclesiastes 2:10–11) - Radical

Supreme Satisfaction (Ecclesiastes 2:10–11)

Whatever my eyes desired, I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it. Behold, all was vanity and a striving after the wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.
– Ecclesiastes 2:10–11

What a powerful picture of a man who’s saying, “I sought everything in this world. Whatever my eyes desired, I did not keep from them. I got everything I desired.” Ecclesiastes is clearly referring to someone here who has all the wealth that he could have wanted to get everything in the world that he wanted.

Ecclesiastes 2:10–11 teaches us that worldly pleasures do not bring ultimate satisfaction.

He said, “I kept my heart from no pleasure.” Yet in the end after all of that, he said, “It was vanity. It was a striving after the wind.” There was nothing to be gained in all that the world offered. What a picture, it makes me think of an interview with Tom Brady in the middle of winning Super Bowls. He was in the middle of an undefeated regular season at the time of this interview and just making all kinds of money and a relationship with a supermodel.

He said, “Why do I have three Super Bowl rings and still think there’s something greater out there for me?” Maybe a lot of people would say, “Hey man, this is what it is. I reached my goal, my dream, my life, but, I think God, it’s got to be more than this. I mean this isn’t, this can’t be what it’s all cracked up to be.”

The interviewer asked him, “Well, what’s the answer?” Tom Brady responded, “I wish I knew. I wish I knew.” This is certainly not an exact parallel with Ecclesiastes, but it’s really similar and take it from people who have sought after all this world has to offer. In the end, it doesn’t satisfy, and that’s part of the point of Ecclesiastes.

Ecclesiastes 2:10–11 reminds us that only God can satisfy our souls.

The things of this world will not satisfy you. Only God can satisfy your soul. Only relationship with God who loves you and who is the author of everything good. Everything your soul needs is found in him. Stop seeking satisfaction in the things of this world and the people of this world, the pleasures, the possessions, and the achievements of this world.

Instead, seek satisfaction in God alone knowing that yes, he gives good gifts, but your satisfaction is found in the giver, not in the gifts. Your soul, my soul, our souls are designed to be satisfied in God alone, in relationship with God, and a close relationship with God is possible for every single one of us.

We pray, yes, God, draw us into a closer relationship with you today. Jesus, we praise you for making this possible for us, for dying on the cross, for rising from the grave, for ascending into heaven, for sending your Spirit to open our eyes. To fill our lives as we trust in you so that we might experience satisfaction for our souls in you.

This verse encourages us to pursue God above everything else.

God, help us not to be blinded by the things of this world thinking that if we just have this or in that relationship or people see us this way, or we look this way, or we achieve this thing. Whatever it might be, God, help us to put those things aside and to seek you alone as the satisfier of our souls.

Help us to trust that as you give us good things, as you work in good ways in our lives… That all of this is coming from you as the one who satisfies us… Not in those things, even in people around us. God, help us to see people as gifts from you in our lives. Lord, help us to look to you alone… To seek you alone, to worship you alone as the Satisfier of our souls.

Prayer for the Northern Hmu People

God, we pray you’d help us to point others to you as the only one who can satisfy their souls. Help us to share the good news in this world of things that don’t satisfy that there is a God who satisfies, who loves them, who’s made them for a relationship with him. God, we pray that you would help us to lead others to a relationship with you.

God, we pray specifically for people who’ve never heard the good news of what Jesus has done so that they can have a relationship with you. We pray for the Northern Hmu people of China. Over 2 million of them, a small handful of believers among them. God, strengthen those believers. Give them boldness. Cause others to go to the Northern Hmu people so that they might be reached with the good news of satisfaction that’s found in you alone.

Satisfaction that supersedes everything else in this world. God, may it be so for their sake. Help us to live in the fullness of satisfaction that’s found in a close relationship with you today… In a way that supersedes all the pleasures of this world put together. In Jesus’ name, we pray according to the Ecclesiastes 2:10–11.

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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