Ecclesiastes 2:1 (ESV)

1 I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.” But behold, this also was vanity.

The Preacher reports on the research he has conducted. He describes how he has been searching for the meaning of life. He shows what he was looking for and what the results were. He also asks himself whether the meaning of life may be found in pursuing pleasure.

It is good to recall Ecclesiastes 1:18 once more. Anyone who with all his wisdom as a human being does not look beyond this creation will only see more misery and difficult things. Yet people don’t want this in their lives. Man looks for happiness and joy. How are you, as a person, able to achieve this in your life? It seems achievable for man by having an optimistic outlook. It seems attainable by enjoying everything that seems good and beautiful. It is for this reason, therefore, that the Preacher says to himself, Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.

The wisdom of the world often looks in this direction for the meaning of life. It is about enjoyment, about satisfying your desires. The philosopher Archippus, who died in 445 BC, teaches that enjoyment is the purpose of life. He says it is what man should live for. But is this true?