Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God. He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart. —Ecclesiastes 5:19-20
As we begin a new year and a new decade, let the pursuit of wisdom be one of our top goals. Enjoy this collection of devotions on wisdom throughout the month from Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein’s timeless teachings.
As we honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this month, download our complimentary booklet on the historic and spiritual bond between the Jewish and African-American communities.
It’s fun sometimes to daydream about a fabled genie-in-a-bottle who would grant you three wishes. What would you wish for? Money? Popularity? A perfect body? Romance? Travel to exotic places? Healing? A long life?
After Solomon became king, God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you” (1 Kings 3:5). Solomon had his chance. What would you have asked for? Solomon, humbled by the responsibility of governing God’s people, asked for . . . wisdom. He wanted the wisdom to rule over Israel so that he could discharge his duties well for God (1 Kings 3:6–15).
Solomon’s great wisdom gave him a curious mind. He explored everything and analyzed it. But he also became frustrated because he was not easily fooled. He saw beyond the things people say and do — the amusements we indulge in — and realized that those pursuits, in and of themselves, were meaningless.
That’s true for us today as well. Without God, the things we do have no lasting value. Nothing we pursue, nothing we attain, means anything apart from Him. Indeed, Solomon’s repeated refrain throughout Ecclesiastes is that — without God, everything is meaningless.
Solomon’s final conclusion? He wrote in the book of Ecclesiastes, “A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?” (Ecclesiastes 2:24–25). In God alone can we find true enjoyment and pleasure in what He has given to us.
We all want to have a life filled with meaning and significance. And it’s possible. We can find true meaning in life each day by seeking God in all we do and putting Him first in our lives.
That’s the wisest way I know to discover enjoyment and true satisfaction in life.
Download your complimentary copy of our booklet, On the Frontlines of Faith, which explores the historic and spiritual bond between the African-American and Jewish communities during the civil rights movement.