OUR FATHER WHO GIVES WISDOM TO THOSE WHO ASK
Solomon, the king of Israel, having inherited the throne of his father David as a young man, asked God for wisdom to help him govern the kingdom and he was granted a great endowment of wisdom by the Lord.
With this wisdom, King Solomon undertook to find the meaning of life and he endeavored to see if any good could be found in pleasure but he was disappointed because he found that all pleasures were meaningless.
Starting with comedy, he concluded that laughter was madness and when he tried drinking wine and pursuing folly, he did not find happiness.
He searched for pleasure by engaging in huge projects: He built houses, great gardens and water reservoirs.
He acquired many slaves and owned huge flocks of cattle as he sought pleasure and meaning in material accumulation.
He then put together a band of musical entertainers as well as a harem of women to seek pleasure in the things that delight men.
Ecclesiates chapter 2 verses 9 - 10 gives a progress update of his pursuit of pleasure;
I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.
I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil.
This passage describes the limitless search that Solomon, as the king of Israel, conducted in his pursuit of meaning.
While still seeing things from a vantage point of wisdom, he attained social, political and economic supremacy in Jerusalem. Finding no meaning in status, he plunged himself into the desires of the flesh denying himself nothing that his eyes or his heart fancied.
He then searched for pleasure in his own toil to see if he could produce work that would reward him with satisfaction but when he stopped to assess if there was anything of value that had come from his pursuits, he concluded that everything was vaporous and pointless. Ecclesiastes chapter 2 verse 11 says it this way;
Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.