In Chapter 2 verses 1-26 the Teacher, a king in Jerusalem is still looking for the purpose of life. He decides to "test" life's pleasures to find out what is good. (verse1) He tries to find happiness with wine, laughter, folly. He wanted to see what was worthwhile for men to do under heaven during the few days of their lives. He planted vineyards, built houses, made gardens and parks. He even amassed silver and gold and had a harem. He gave himself all the delights of a man's heart. He denied himself nothing, but he realizes in the end he is still not at peace and called all of his accomplishments "meaningless." He states in verse 16 "For a wise man, like the fool will not be long remembered; in days to come both will be forgotten.
Like the fool, the wise man too must die." So, he had no joy, hated his life and despite all he has gained in his life, he must leave to someone who has not earned it when he dies. So what has he gained by all of his toil and trouble?
I think this chapter is so relevant to how people are today. Everyone is busy building up treasures on the earth, competing with "the Jones." Concentrating on material and sexual pleasures and perversions. Most have no time for the things of God. As we read chapter 3 for tomorrow, let's think about where we are in our lives. Does our life have joy and contentment or are we bound up in the things we can "achieve and acquire?"