In the Book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon wrote of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?” In the New Testament, Paul writes that those who live for pleasure are dead even as they live. The Book of Proverbs shares similar sentiments.
However, life’s pleasures are part of God’s creation and must serve some purpose, humble and limited though it may be.
Without the pleasure of dining, food consumption would be nothing but a chore. Without the pleasure of rest, work might be acclaimed as the only purpose of God and man. Without the pleasure of procreation, man might be perpetually alone and never know the joys of family life.
So, maybe Our Father has created pleasure to guide us discreetly in the general direction of a life well lived where we both work, eat, and reproduce in accordance with his best wishes. Maybe pleasure is just as important as discipline in life and can be relished and treasured as just one of Our Father’s gifts to us, his children. Maybe, pleasure can be redeemed as it is teamed up with love.
In Revelation 5:11, KJV, it is written that “for his pleasure we were created.” In Psalm 149:4, it says, “The Lord takes delight in his people.” In Zephaniah 3:17, it is written, “He rejoices over us with singing.” In Proverbs Chapter 8, wisdom “rejoices continually in God’s creation and has his delight in mankind.” Maybe earth’s natural pleasures are here to guide us constantly and consistently to Our God who takes great pleasure in us. Maybe they are given to us to keep us from becoming too austere and joyless in this business of living.
Maybe, as the writer of Ecclesiastes shared, “There is nothing better than to eat, drink, and enjoy our labor. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?” Let us find our pleasure in a balanced life of work, recreation, rest, and worship.
Let us enjoy this life that he has freely given to us!
~ Brad Heilhecker