By Tammy Phillips
December 1, 2021
“’Vanity of vanities,’ says the Preacher; ‘Vanity of vanities, all [is] vanity.’” (Ecclesiastes 1:2 NKJV)
“’Meaningless! Meaningless!’ says the Teacher. ‘Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.’” (Ecclesiastes 1:2 NIV)
“’Absolute futility,’ says the Teacher. ‘Absolute futility. Everything is futile.’” (Ecclesiastes 1:2 CSB)
Ecclesiastes is written by Solomon. 1 Kings 4:31-34 tells us he was famous for his wisdom in all nations. He spoke three thousand proverbs: and wrote 1005 songs. He spoke about everything from trees to fishes. All people came to hear the wisdom of Solomon, including from all kings of the earth. He collected knowledge and was wiser than all men. Ecclesiastes begins with “the words of the Preacher.” Preacher literally means “collector of sentences,” and an “assembler together.” Solomon knew a lot and shared a lot. He studied a lot, actually everything “under the sun .” He uses this phrase often throughout his book.
He begins Ecclesiastes with His conclusion. After studying everything and gaining immense wisdom about everything on earth. Solomon in all his wisdom comes to a great conclusion that can be summed up in three words, “All is vanity!” The word vanity means that which vanishes. It is a vapor. It is a breath. It is “poof”, and it is gone. It’s nothing. It’s an emptiness. It is meaningless. It is useless. It is futile.
This is His view. It is world view. This is not an eternal view. He is right. Man alone is nothing and can do nothing. However, “with men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26 NKJV). Solomon didn’t talk about life with God. He talked about just life sans God. Again, he was right. All is vain, empty, worthless, having no substance, value, or importance…when God is not in the middle of it.
In Ecclesiastes 1:3-9, he discusses the cycles of life. He states, “That which has been [is] what will be, That which [is] done is what will be done, And [there is] nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9 NKJV). We say it like this, “What goes around comes around.”
“Is there anything of which it may be said, “See, this [is] new”? It has already been in ancient times before us.” (Ecclesiastes 1:10 NKJV)
The cycle of life is empty and futile. We get up, go to work, eat, go to sleep and do it all over the next day. There is no hope of things changing, except Jesus. Add Jesus to life and He changes everything. He is Spirit, Breath and Life. He fills the empty and broken spaces in our lives. He completes us and gives us purpose. He gives meaning to this crazy life.
I enCOURAGE you to not do life without Him. Invite Jesus and all His wisdom into every area of your life. It will be miraculous. It’s Him in us “who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” (Ephesians 3:20 NKJV). Stay tuned tomorrow for some real life examples of how Jesus stepped in and saved the day.
“Whereas you do not know what [will happen] tomorrow. For what [is] your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” (James 4:14 NKJV)