Eccl. 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its own time; also He has put eternity in their heart…
2 Cor. 4:18 Because we do not regard the things which are seen but the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
God…has put eternity (an aspiration for the things in eternity) in man’s heart…(Eccl. 3:11). In His creation of man, God put something into man which Solomon called “eternity.” This means that in man there is a kind of aspiration for God, an aspiration for something eternal. Physical things may be enjoyable, but they are temporal.
Many successful people can testify that when they were endeavoring to advance in their career, they sensed that there was an emptiness within them. They began to realize that they were seeking something eternal. After they gained something they wanted, they felt that it was nothing. This feeling comes from the aspiration in man’s heart for something eternal.
According to our own experience, we know that whenever we have a success in our human life, we also have an empty feeling. This indicates that within man there is an aspiration for eternal things. God has put such an aspiration, such a seeking, in man’s heart so that he will seek God. Every person, especially every thoughtful person, has within him this longing and seeking for eternity. (Life-study of Ecclesiastes, pp. 5-6)
God created man in His image and with a human spirit for man to receive and contain Him. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says that God put eternity in man’s heart. The things in this universe are mainly of two categories: temporal things and eternal things. In 2 Corinthians 4:18 Paul says, “We do not regard the things which are seen but the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” This verse is the proper explanation of Solomon’s word in Ecclesiastes 3:11. The wise king said that God created everything beautiful in its own time and also put eternity in man’s heart. This matches our human experience. Regardless of how rich or successful a person becomes, he still feels empty. Man has a deep desire for permanent things, and the only things that are permanent are the eternal things. The Amplified Bible says that eternity in man’s heart is “a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun, but only God, can satisfy.” We have a sense of a purpose, which nothing can satisfy but God. Only God can satisfy the sense of purpose in our heart.
In God’s creation of man there are three striking things: His image, our human spirit to receive Him, and a divinely implanted sense of a purpose in our hearts working through the ages, which nothing under the sun, but only God, can satisfy. The romance depicted in Song of Songs does not start from the Lord but from the seeker. A person becomes such a seeker because within him there is a sense of purpose to seek something eternal. Nothing can fulfill or satisfy this sense of purpose but God Himself, who is Christ. Many people would think that we are wasting our time, but actually, we are redeeming the time. Those who pursue temporary things are wasting their time. They are busy for nothing. Anything they are busy for is temporary, not eternal. Only One in the whole universe is eternal—the eternal God. (CWWL, 1994-1997, vol. 3, “The God-man Living,” pp. 444-445)
David said that man goes about as a semblance, an empty show, and that people are bustling about in vain [Psa. 39:6].
God wants us to be nothing. God wants us to be replaced by Christ…. I have an organic union with Him. He lives and works, and I live and work with Him. Christ replaces me to live Himself through me. (Life-study of the Psalms, pp. 218-219)
Further Reading: Life-study of the Psalms, msg. 17; CWWL, 1994-1997, vol. 3, “The God-man Living,” ch. 1