We start out Chapter 2 of Ecclesiastes with Solomon’s continued pursuits of enlightenment; while in the rear view mirror we have Solomon trying knowledge and wisdom from Chapter 1, He studies everything and finds no happiness. So now Solomon turns to pleasure:
Ecc 2:1 I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself.” And behold, it too was futility.
Ecc 2:2 I said of laughter, “It is madness,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?”
Gratifying one’s desires is also doesn’t bring about happiness. It’s like being hungry, then binge eating. The food tastes great going in, but what about sitting around with that giant cinder block of junk in your stomach for the next 6 hours waiting for it to digest? Or Alcohol even? That buzz that comes from drinking is also just a fleeting pleasure, but is the hang over that comes after really worth it?
Solomon also explores comedy, when he says, I said of laughter; it is madness.
Most comedians are incredibly broken people, an unfortunate example of this is Robyn Williams who took his own life.
So to summarize, we don’t find true fulfillment in laughter, or pleasure. And in the previous chapter, contentment didn’t come from the arts or philosophies. We are reminded that true happiness only comes from realizing how damaged we are and that we cannot make ourselves happy, the only One who can show us our sin, and more importantly redeem us from our wicked ways and make us turn away from it, and that Person is Christ Jesus.