Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Paradise City

Well for those of you who are not fans of rock and roll you are going to have to bear with me one more week. I was listening to the radio this morning and heard Paradise City by Guns and Roses. The song is a great tune that starts out with the lyrics:

Take me down to the paradise city
Where the grass is green
And the girls are pretty
Take me home (Oh, won't you please take me home)

As I listened to this song I wondered if Axle Rose ever thought he found Paradise City. The more I thought about this I remembered a person in the Bible who never really found Paradise City but he tried to create it here on earth. Let me introduce you to him:

Ecclesiastes 2:8-10 - I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired men and women singers, and a harem as well—the delights of the heart of man. 9 I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me. 10 I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor.

The book of Ecclesiastes was written by King Solomon, the wealthiest person to have ever walked the planet. Yes, he was wealthier than Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. He tried to create Paradise City, he had green grass and pretty girls, lots of pretty girls, but was he happy? Take a look at the next verse:

Ecclesiastes 2:11 - 11 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.

He had it all based on what man thinks is important. He had fame, fortune, power, really he had anything he wanted but he did not find satisfaction in any of it. Solomon goes on chapter after chapter and verse after verse talking about how riches, power, the trappings of the world are meaningless. If that is what you are looking for to fill the void in your life you will probably come to the same conclusion as Solomon. Tom Brady of the New England Patriots basically came to the same conclusion as Solomon. Take a look at his quote:

"Why do I have three Super Bowl rings and still think there’s something greater out there for me? I mean, maybe a lot of people would say, ‘Hey man, this is what it is.’ I reached my goal, my dream, my life. I think, God, it’s got to be more than this."

This is coming from a guy who makes millions of dollars, hangs out with the rich and famous, dates the most beautiful women and yet still feels like something is missing.

At the end of the book of Ecclesiastes King Solomon sums up his thoughts in one verse:

Ecclesiastes 12: 13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

That's it, it sounds so simple yet it is so hard to do at times. Fear God and keep his commands. This is what is going to bring peace and joy in this life. Take it from a man who tried it all. The trappings of this world will leave you empty but a relationship with Christ will bring joy and peace that nothing else can compare to.

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