Don’t drink a beer
Published 12:48 pm Thursday, September 15, 2016
In his 2013 hit “Drink a Beer,” Luke Bryan appealed to the downcast with these words:
“So I’m gonna sit right here,
On the edge of this pier,
Watch the sunset disappear,
And drink a beer.”
This song captivates the mourner because it is raw. When we are hurting, our souls long for something to numb the pain. It may be a sunset. It may be a beer. But the Bible points the downcast to Jesus.
First, God wants the downcast to know nothing in this world brings ultimate meaning. Ecclesiastes 1:2-4 cries out, “Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun? A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever.”
I think Solomon had a little bit of Luke Bryan in him (pardon the anachronism; this is unrestrained prose). Everywhere he searches, he finds vanity not meaning. Sure, we can find significance in that job. But someday we will retire. Sure, we can find significance in that spouse, but someday death will do us part. It seems there is no universal meaning to life, that is, life without Jesus.
Second, God wants the downcast to understand nothing in this world brings ultimate satisfaction. Ecclesiastes 2:1 explains, “I said in my heart, ‘Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.’ But behold, this also was vanity.”
The temporal things of this world do not satisfy the soul. The honeymoon period will end. In an interview of his football success with 60 Minutes Tom Brady reflected:
“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 is.’ I reached my goal, my dream, my life. Me, I think: God, it’s gotta be more than this. I mean this can’t be what it’s all cracked up to be. I mean I’ve done it. I’m 27. And what else is there for me?”
Tom Brady’s statement embodies the predicament we all face. Stuff won’t satisfy. Fame won’t satisfy. Let’s take heed to Ecclesiastes. All is vanity. Nothing satisfies in an ultimate sense; nothing but Jesus.
God reveals in his Word that Jesus brings ultimate meaning and satisfaction. Ecclesiastes 3:11 discloses, “… he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” God has wired our souls for eternity. Our souls find answers in God, though God can never be exhausted or fully comprehended. When we chase everything but God, we numb the pain. When we run after God, we find rest.
We not only receive forgiveness through Jesus, we find rest. For he assures us, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew Homan is the pastor of Eureka Baptist Church. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.