I Can’t Get No Satisfaction

He has set the right time for everything. He has given us a desire to know the future, but never gives us the satisfaction of fully understanding what He does”  (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV).

I Can’t Get No Satisfaction

“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” was a song by the English rock band The Rolling Stones, released in 1965. The lyrics refer to secular frustration and commercialism, not Christianity.  However, there is a message in the song that has been true since the book of Ecclesiastes was written by King Solomon around 935 BC.  In many instances, we cannot get satisfaction, at least not on earth.  We may pray for understanding, but I think God is waiting for us to surrender and trust.  Proverbs 9:10 teaches, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

From the time we are children, we constantly ask questions that range from mundane to existential.  Are we there yet?  What’s for dinner?  Why is the sky blue?  Why did my friend die at

such a young age?  Why does evil exist?

Ecclesiastes 3:11 teaches us, “He has set the right time for everything. He has given us a desire to know the future, but never gives us the satisfaction of fully understanding what He does.”   This Scripture is telling us that God made us to be curious because “He has given us a desire to know the future.”  As Christian we know that God is in control, but we are hesitant to walk by faith and not by sight.  We tend to want to lean on our own understanding.  This is particularly true for those with a predisposition toward left-brain logic. 

Jesus understood our desire for understanding.  He said in John 13:7, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.”  Jesus’s speaking style did not give “satisfaction” to the crowds.  In Matthew 13 Jesus had finished the Parable of the Sower and the disciples asked Him a question that any of us would have likely asked.  “Why do you speak to the people in parables? (Matthew 13:10). 

His answer is revealing in many ways.  “He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.  In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.  For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes.  Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’  But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it” (Matthew 13:11-16). 

Jesus spoke in parables – earthly stories with a heavenly meaning. He did so that His disciples would comprehend His teachings and that unbelievers would be without comprehension. Those interested in understanding the truth of His message would understand while those not interested would remain without understanding.  I circle back to King Solomon.  He wrote in Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”  This provides me the satisfaction that I desire, and I am confident that when I meet my maker I will rest in complete peace, love and satisfaction.

Prayer: Dear God:  Thank you for steadfast love which endures forever.  Grant us ears to hear your Word proclaimed and the resolve to proclaim it to others.  Amen.

Meet the Author

Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

We welcome your comments below.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Thank you for visiting. We trust that you have enjoyed reading our articles.

Liked this post?

Read more below or search for more topics...

  • Knowledge

    Knowledge “My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands. Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the LORD, and you will gain knowledge of God. For the LORD grants wisdom! From His mouth come knowledge and understanding" (Proverbs 2:1-6 NLT).I think society tends to confuse knowledge with education.  However, a person can have extensive education and college degrees and not necessarily be very knowledgeable.   Perhaps they...
  • What is in Your Heart – Envy or Contentment?

    What is in Your Heart – Envy or Contentment? “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1 NIV). Hebrews 12:1 teaches us that God has prepared a “race” for each of us.  To me, this means we each have our own unique life.  We don’t all have the same race, experiences, joys, and failures but we each have a unique race.  God has a plan that He wants us to pursue that...
  • What Are Your Priorities

    What Are Your Priorities? Perhaps our greatest power is to establish our priorities.  These are the things that motivate us.  Priorities are based on values, beliefs, ideals, and commitment.  They define each of us as a person.  Some are motivated by fame or money.  Others are motivated by their friends or family.  In short, there can be hundreds of reasons that motivate us each day.  It is critically important to recognize that we alone have the power to set our priorities and if we do not set them, then society will set them for us.   Popular culture will set our priorities...