Home > Bible, Ecclesiasties, God, Old Testament > A GOD-SHAPED VACUUM


June 11th, 2006

“…he has put eternity into man’s heart…”

(Ecclesiastes 3:11)

He dazzled his world, at a young age, with his sophisticated mathematics. He, then, proceeded to speak of a “God shaped vacuum.” His name was Blaise Pascal. Is there such a thing as a “God-shaped vacuum?” A void, which, if not filled, causes a man to attempt to connect in some way to the eternal, by legitimate and illegitimate means? Is there such a need built into man to seek out the eternal? Is there a need so important and basic that without its comfort one is destined only to constantly apply band-aids to his dying wounds? Is this search for love and quest for ultimate purpose an inherent condition of man’s soul?

The Bible does speak of such a “God-shaped vacuum.” For example, it is written in Ecclesiastes 3:11—“I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, 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” (Eccl. 3:10-11). Add to this reference, the words of Jesus in John 4:13,14, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty forever.” (see also Acts 17:27,28; 2 Cor. 5:2).

But, the real question is not whether such a vacuum exists. The more incisive question is whether one has found the right resource to fill it. If the Christian fulfillment story of the gospel is rejected, perhaps all that one can expect is summed up—“She is older than the rocks among which she sits; like the vampire she has been dead many times” (Pater’s reflections upon Leonardo’s Mona Lisa, The Renaissance). Thank God for Jesus and the power of his rising (Acts 13:30-41)!

-Robert M. Housby

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