By Dr. Ed Young
When King Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes, he was picturing life without God, life under the sun.
And his conclusion was that life without God is a life that is full of vanity and meaninglessness, life that is going nowhere and only hits a dead end when we take our last breath.
Perhaps his most disturbing statement comes in Chapter 6. Verses 1–2 say…
There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is widespread among mankind: a person to whom God has given riches, wealth, and honor, so that his soul lacks nothing of all that he desires, yet God has not given him the opportunity to enjoy these things, but a foreigner enjoys them. This is futility and a severe affliction. (NASB)
It’s not the most uplifting thought. In fact it’s downright depressing. Stay with me though, because there’s a great truth in this chapter that I want to show you.
Solomon is talking about evil here, and let me tell you, if there’s evil in your life – if your life is being controlled by evil – it’s going to cast a shadow.
There is a high price (not only in eternity, but in your life right now) for living with evil.
We let evil in the door in so many ways in our life, and Solomon tells us three things that come as a result.
First, there’s no enjoyment. Verse 2 says “God has not given him the opportunity to enjoy these things, but a foreigner enjoys them.”
Country singer Kenny Chesney has a song called “Rich and Miserable,” which I believe is a great modern-day version of Solomon’s sentiments. And we all know people who are rich and miserable. They have everything, yet they don’t enjoy it.
When there’s evil reigning in your heart and your life, no matter if you’re rich or poor, you are miserable.
Next, in verses 3–9, which I encourage you to read, we find the second thing evil takes from us: satisfaction.
His words are so strong here that he says life is better for a child who’s been miscarried, or died young, than for someone to go through life without satisfaction.
As a side note, I want to point out the bright spot of encouragement in those verses, as the Word tells us that Heaven will be full of children who died before birth. They’ll grow up in a perfect, magnificent environment.
But for those who are alive, living without satisfaction is no life at all. The well-known song from the The Rolling Stones speaks to a life where you can’t get no satisfaction.
These rich, famous, rock-and-roll stars had the world at their fingertips, yet they found no satisfaction no matter how hard they tried.
It’s an echoing of Scripture written by someone who looked at life without any sense of the supernatural, and they came to the same conclusion.
Let’s look at the final thing he says.
When evil is in your life, not only is there no enjoyment, not only is there no satisfaction, but you have no future!
First Solomon says that nobody can contend with one mightier than he. In other words, you can’t box with God. Then, in verse 12 he concludes…
For who knows what is good for a person during his lifetime, during the few years of his futile life? He will spend them like a shadow. For who can tell a person what will happen after him under the sun?
There is no future under the sun when we’re living simply under the sun. Now you may think, “I’m not really living in evil.” But my friend, the evil is living your life the way you want to live it.
Notice, tucked away in verse 12 are these words, “he will spend them like a shadow.”
He is saying when evil controls your life, there is certainly no enjoyment. There is no satisfaction, and certainly there’s no future, and you will spend them like a shadow. When you’re gone, you leave no shadow.
That’s how he understood it.
But you and I know that when the light of Christ shines through and behind us, then we do leave a shadow.
Think of the great heroes of the faith, like Peter and Paul in the early church, and recent figures like Billy Graham and Martin Luther King Jr.
The light of Christ shone on them and through them and we still see their shadow today.
My question for you in closing is, how long is your shadow?
You can just flounder around and say, “Oh, I’m not enjoying life. I’m not satisfied with this, and I don’t know what my future is.”
But let Christ come in, and your shadow will grow longer and longer, and it’ll go on long after you’ve graduated from this earth.
It will go on all the way through eternity when Christ is the light behind that shadow in your life. You’ll make an unbelievable difference!
Another way you can cast a long shadow is through your support of The Winning Walk to help share the proven truth of God’s Word with people around the world.
And if you’ll give a gift below, I’ll send you a copy of my 4-message series Live Life with No Regrets to help you live free in the surrender to God’s purposes for your life.
This series on Ecclesiastes contains the message I used for this article as well as more proven truth from Ecclesiastes to help you live with priorities aligned with God’s Kingdom.
Thank you for your partnership!