Learning the Hard Way
Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
A phrase Solomon used many times in Ecclesiastes is “under the sun.” By using this phrase, Solomon was speaking of a horizontal, strictly human viewpoint of life. He was declaring there was no fulfillment in life under the sun — in other words, in life without God. He’d learned the hard way. Once he began his descent into human excess, Solomon rarely looked above the sun for answers. He proved that the attempt to meet the deepest needs of our lives, while leaving God out of the equation, will leave us empty.
This is ironic when you consider his life story. King David, the man after God’s own heart, had raised Solomon in a godly home. When David was on his deathbed, he had called young Solomon in to remind him of what really mattered in life. He told him, “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind . . . ” (1 Chronicles 28:9).
In other words, David had been saying, “Son, you can’t live off of your old man’s faith. You need to get your own. You need to serve God with an undivided heart. You need to completely commit yourself to Him. This is the secret I have learned about life.”
For a time Solomon did follow the words that his father gave him. Then he allowed his heart to be divided. He tried to love the Lord and the world. According to Scripture, that just won’t wash. The Bible reminds us “friendship with the world is enmity with God” (James 4:4). If you are going to be the world’s friend, you are going to be God’s enemy.
—Greg Laurie, Losers and Winners, Saints and Sinners
In his newest book, Losers and Winners, Saints and Sinners, Greg Laurie examines the lives of biblical personalities—good and bad—revealing why some fell and failed while others picked themselves up and finished strong in the spiritual race.
Copyright © 2005 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000.