2 Samuel 11-12 is a tragically familiar narrative for many. It is the story of David and Bathsheba. Though the account is heart-breaking because we are given a detailed account of the ongoing consequences of this one night of passion, it is also an account filled with God’s grace as we witness Bathsheba taken as a wife by David and giving birth to the next king of Israel, ultimately being included in the family tree of Jesus Christ. Bathsheba’s story reminds us that God’s grace is often woven amidst the pain of our lives.
As a child I was fascinated by the television show, In Search Of. The show was hosted by the man who played Spock on the science fiction series, Star Trek, Leonard Nimoy. Each episode of In Search Of centered around Nimoy’s pursuit to uncover some mystery of life in a thirty minute show with enough time reserved for several commercials from the sponsors. These mysteries of life covered everything from the resting place of Noah’s Ark and the location of the tomb of Jesus to aliens, ufo’s and haunted houses. The show always fascinated me because in my childhood naivety I believed that Leonard Nimoy was the smartest guy in the world. How else could one explain his amazing ability to overcome every obstacle and provide all the answers the whole world was looking for? Sadly, my bubble has since been broken when I was informed that a whole team of people fed Spock his information. I must admit I was nothing short of crushed when this information first came to me.
Even though Leonard Nimoy may not have been the superhero I thought he was there is one thing he taught me that is absolutely certain, life is full of mysteries. Spock unveiled several mysteries for me, but there are still many questions which have been left unanswered. And there is one mystery which In Search Of never even sought to tackle. A mystery that has plagued the minds of mankind for centuries and though many have claimed to have solved the mystery still the search goes on generation after generation by a new batch of pioneers. It is the mystery of the meaning of life. What exactly is the meaning of life? How exactly do we find meaning in life? Is there really a purpose for our existence on this giant blueberry or are we simply just a product of an evolutionary process doing nothing more than existing, surviving and evolving?
Several thousand years ago the quest to answer some of life’s most pressing questions was tackled by a man who had all the resources necessary to perform an exhaustive search for the answer to this question. He had the brains; you could actually say he had been given a dose of divine wisdom. He had the money; if we were to transfer his assets into today’s standards it would be safe to say his wealth would dwarf that of Donald Trump or the Rockefellers. He had the connections; his friends consisted of queens, kings, princes, philosophers and the like from all across the known world. And he had the time; what else does someone who has a servant for every task do? He wasn’t limited by anything or anyone as he set out on his quest. And so he searched everything under the sun.
His conclusion at the end of his search may shock and/or annoy you. After this exhaustive search he emphatically proclaimed that everything is meaningless. How’s that for a show that will bring some high ratings to the network? Somehow I don’t think that’s exactly what we want to hear. His basic conclusion is as follows, “You want to know the meaning behind your existence, there is none.” He is not seeking to be overly pessimistic or sarcastic with this answer, simply realistic. If we can grab hold of this reality – that if the depth of our pursuit of meaning goes not deeper than trying to find our meaning in the monotonous repetition of the daily grind of work, or the futility of seeking to leave a legacy, or the pursuit wisdom gained through experience – then we will end up living a meaningless existence trapped in the monotonous drone of life as it ticks past us one second at a time.
Nothing satisfies. In his quest nothing that our seeker saw, discovered, attempted, produced, initiated, or concluded in his lengthy search brought lasting significance or personal satisfaction.
But his search didn’t go beyond this finite earthly existence. The search was conducted as if there was or is no God. If we live as though that is the case, true or not, then our lives are nothing but a monotonous repetition of complete meaninglessness.
I have no doubt many reading this are really pursuing being good people, trying to make the most of life and trying to find meaning in anything but God. You may look good, you may be very smart, and have great potential. You’re hoping there is a real light at the end of the tunnel. You may even keep telling yourself that it is life and happiness you’re pursuing, all the while ignoring the voice in the back of your head that keeps whispering yours is an effort in futility. As long as you keep your search earthbound you will find nothing but meaninglessness and monotony. The only way you will find meaning in life is in looking beyond this finite earthly existence to the Author of life. His name is Jesus Christ and He wants to bring meaning to your life. He says, “I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly.” How can he make that promise? Because He is, “the way – to find meaning, the truth – that reveals true meaning, and the life -we’ve all been looking for, no one comes to the Father except through Him.” Why would we want access to the Father? He is the Author of life. Not only did He create the heavens and the earth but He also created all of mankind in His image. It is through a relationship with Him, the one who made us, that we unlock the mystery of meaning in life. Without that relationship everything is nothing more than an exercise of futility.