He actually tells us, through the man that He made the wisest that ever lived – King Solomon.
After God gave him all that wisdom, He left him with an important piece of information regarding what to do with it:
“And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.” 1 Kin. 3:14 ESV
So, regardless of all King Solomon’s wisdom, it was the godly application of it that brought the blessings. Indeed, as long as Solomon followed that advice, he and his kingdom remained blessed:
And Judah and Israel lived in safety…every man under his vine and under his fig tree, all the days of Solomon. 1 Kin. 4:25 ESV
You have to understand however, that there are no shades of gray with God. You are either doing what He says to do, or you are not. There are no half measures. And unfortunately, regardless of all his wisdom, Solomon veered off his Creator’s path:
Now King Solomon loved many foreign women…from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” 1 Kin. 11:1, 2. ESV
Just as God said, it came to pass:
For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods… 1 Kin. 11:4 ESV
And when you violate His commands, there are always consequences:
So the LORD said to Solomon, “ Because you have done this, and you have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant. Nevertheless I will not do it in your days for the sake of your father David, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son for the sake of My servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen.” 1 Kin. 11:11 – 13. NASB
God must mete out His punishment or His word would not stand in truth. But because of his father’s (King David) obedience, God showed mercy to Solomon by delaying His retribution until the time of Solomon’s son’s reign. Moreover, you can see that out of His mercy, God would also leave Solomon’s son one tribe (Judah) to perpetuate the throne in Jerusalem.
Solomon knew that he messed up in a big way and fell into a deep depressive funk, for which he tried to find solace by immersing himself in the ways of the world. Thankfully for all of us, Solomon eventually repented, turned his life around and made himself right with God. At that point, God’s wisdom returned to him in his old age and Solomon left us the wisdom gleaned from his wayward journey:
“Behold, I have acquired great [human] wisdom and experience, more than all who were over Jerusalem before me; and my mind has observed a wealth of [moral] wisdom and [scientific] knowledge. And I set my mind to know [practical] wisdom and to discern [the character of] madness and folly [in which men seem to find satisfaction]; I realized that this too is a futile grasping and chasing after the wind. For in much [human] wisdom there is much displeasure and exasperation; increasing knowledge increases sorrow.” Eccl. 1:16 – 18. AMP
Solomon is saying that the pursuit of the world’s wisdom is laden with errors and dissatisfactions and the only fruit that it bears is misery – a lesson he learned from direct experience:
I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.’ But behold, this also was vanity. I said of laughter, “It is mad,” and of pleasure; “What use is it?” I searched with all my heart how to cheer my body with wine…I made great works. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. I made myself gardens and parks…I made myself pools…I bought male and female slaves…I also had great possessions…I also gathered for myself silver and gold…I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines… Eccl. 2:1 – 8. ESV
King Solomon had immersed himself in the world – yielding himself over to gluttony, drunkenness, pride, fornication and greed; i.e. he gave into everything that his flesh yearned for. His conclusion?
Thus I considered all my activities which my hand had done and the labor which I exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after the wind and there was no profit under the sun. Eccl. 2:11 NASB
Then, Solomon applied godly wisdom to his observations and came up with the Holy Spirit-inspired meaning of life:
There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or find enjoyment? For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and striving after the wind. Eccl. 2:24 – 26. ESV
So, the ‘meaning of life’ begins with finding contentment through God and from His provisions, as you walk in His ways and know that you play a special part in HIs plan – finding your joy as you perform the tasks that He assigns you.
I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with…I have perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live… Eccl. 3:10 & 12. ESV
Added to the ‘meaning of life’ then, is that walking in God’s ways includes laboring to help others reach their highest and best.
Knowing the meaning of life and living that way allows us to get the most out of it. It doesn’t mean that there will not be hardships from time to time however:
In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: Surely God has appointed one as well as the other… Eccl. 7:14 NKJV
Our lives have cycles of ups and downs; but the ‘downs’ are not times where God is throwing obstacles in your way. He doesn’t do that. God allows adversities to manifest in your life (usually of your own making) so that you can gather strength of character and godly wisdom to draw you closer to Him and increase your dependence upon His love.
Every day, God gives you an opportunity to connect with Him to see the meaning of life through the eyes of love, so that each day can be the best day of your life.
The last aspect revealed to Solomon about the ‘meaning of life’ is the vision we must keep in our hearts while we live it, that of the eternal paradise that awaits us. God wants us to live our lives to their fullest but even so, the day of our heavenly arrival will far surpass it:
…the day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth. Eccl. 7:1 NASB
Finally, King Solomon sums up all the aspects of the ‘meaning of life’ in one scripture;
The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd. My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh. The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. Eccl. 12:11 – 13. ESV
Thus, all meaning in life is found in knowing and loving your God and living by the tenets of His love – which guarantees you a life now and forever, surrounded in complete love. That’s what it’s all about…
Goodnight and God bless.