Lesson 8 -- second quarter 1993
April 25, 1993
The world has no notion of how to find and enjoy satisfaction. If they would read and accept the Bible, they would know that...
The world at its best leads a vain existence (Psalm 39:5). Sooner or later they discover that all they work for amounts to nothing more than "vanity and vexation of spirit" (Ecclesiastes 1:2,14; 2:11). Life for them eventually becomes unprofitable, grievous and hateful (Ecclesiastes 2:17).
How worthwhile is your life? How satisfied are you? Do you know what contentment is? How do you measure all these things in your life?
Jesus wants us to lead contented, satisfied, worthwhile lives. He wants us to live life to the full. He wants to make us complete and fulfilled. So He came that we "might have life, and...have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). Is such a thing a possibility for a young person in 20th century America? Definitely!!
Satisfaction and contentment are gifts from God. He packs them into the life of the individual who follows after Him (Isaiah 58:11). This is true even in the most trying times when "drought" assaults our souls. Even then that person shall "be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not." No wonder the psalmist breaks forth repeatedly with anthems of hope, confidence and praise:
"O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days" (Psalm 90:14).
"With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation" (Psalm 91:16).
"Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's" (Psalm 103:5).
"Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness" (Psalm 107:9).
Notice that this isn't a satisfaction bred only by having all kinds of material things. This contentment comes from experiencing the Lord's mercy, salvation and goodness (Jeremiah 31:14). He who knows the fear of the Lord need not anticipate evil, but rather, life and satisfaction (Proverbs 19:23).
Contentment, with only the basics at that, is a biblical command (1 Timothy 6:8; Hebrews 13:5). Furthermore, the Bible makes this quite plain -- we learn contentment (Philippians 4:11). Perhaps we have become too lax in this area. Are we poor obeyers and learners?
How do we conclude a topic of this sort? "Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man" (Ecclesiastes 12:13). The word duty isn't in the original text. Leave it out and you see that fearing and obeying God leads man to wholeness. The arrogant and disobedient have nothing for them in this life but emptiness.