I’ve started reading Ecclesiastes slowly, in a meditative way. Here’s what stood out for me in Chapter 2:
“Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity.” Ecclesiastes 2:23
Probably this struck me because I have trouble sleeping (see A Thorn in the Flesh), and I have a busy over-active brain that sometimes makes it hard for me to relax.. However, here the author (King Solomon) is talking about something a little different — being unable to rest because we are discontented with our life. We are so intent upon our own satisfaction, it irks us to realize that at some point we will lose it all. Everyone dies. The things we have achieved may be forgotten; the wealth we accumulated will be passed on to somebody else. Guess what, we’re not in control!
God doesn’t mean for us to live this way. Rest was built into creation and the Sabbath was given to us not as one more rule to follow, but as a blessing. Solomon also says in this same chapter:
“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 who can have enjoyment?” Ecclesiastes 2:24
We cannot find satisfaction through our own merits and efforts; this is indeed vanity because we are not giving God His proper place in our lives. We are to relish the gifts He has given us each day, and stop fretting about the future, which is in His hands. We must accept that He knows what’s best for us. Any hope of rest lies in turning our life over to Him. That’s what true rest is about.
“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.”
For more posts about rest see: