VANITY OF VANITIES
Suggested Reading: Ecclesiastes 1-3
Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).
GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.
Key Verses: Ecclesiastes 1:2, 3:11
“Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher;
“Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”
…He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.
We cannot help but notice the repetition “the Preacher” used for his desired emphasis. The word, “vanity” occurs 37 times. It means “useless” or “empty.” The “preacher” has tried all life has to offer. Worldly wisdom, works, women and wealth, as well as laughter and wine are all found to be empty. When these goals are reached, he finds only frustration. This can all be discouraging to us, his readers, unless we refer several times during our readings to chapter 12. We may want to read Solomon’s conclusions about life each day.
The word “time” is repeated 31 times in today’s reading. Time is short and there is no eternity on earth, but a ray of hope shines through with the statement that God “has put eternity in their hearts.” All anthropological studies done in every people group on earth prove that the human family is constantly reaching beyond ourselves and into eternity. The monument pictured above gets it right. Peter and Paul got it right. Pius seems to have gotten it right. Napoleon got it wrong, as is the case of everyone who seeks their ultimate values here and now in this life alone.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, I pray that I will live every moment of my life with eternity’s values in sight. As I grow older, may I grow up into Your love and truth. I ask for grace to keep the vain things of earth in their proper perspective, always seeking to use material possessions and human pursuits for eternal purposes. Thank You for putting “eternity” in my heart. I pray that eternal values will also be in my head, my consistent thoughts and decisions. In the Name of Your eternally existing Son, Father God, I ask these mercies, Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
Remember the TV show Hee Haw? I know one of the main characters personally. Gordy Tapp lives in London, Ontario, and is the son of Salvation Army officers. I have no doubt that when he and Roy Clarke sang of gloom, despair, etc., he knew about the book of Ecclesiastes. In fact, that song could’ve been lifted right out of this book. It was meant as comedy, of course, but then the essence of humour is the gap between what we know we should be (eternity in our hearts) and what the human condition is. Jesus bridges that gap, for we who believe in Him and seek Him daily. He places one hand on us and the other on God, and brings us together as one in Him.
I’m thinking again today of the late, great man, Nelson Mandela. He had such high hopes for his people. It must have been discouraging for him as reality set in and he observed the rampant corruption that has become epidemic in the South African government since he stepped aside from the presidency. He surely tried his best and I commend him for setting such a good example. I want to commend highly our former Prime Minister of Canada, the RT. Hon. Brian Mulroney, for taking the strongest stand of any world leader for doing what was right in South Africa prior to Mandela’s release from prison, and after. Mulroney withstood Britain’s Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in his support of Mandela. God bless you former Canadian P.M. I’m proud of you!
Yours for filling the emptiness of life with the fulness of Christ!
P.S. Here’s the Hee Haw song I referred to (click here). While Solomon tells us that “laughter” accomplishes little, it is good for us. In Proverbs 17:22a, Solomon told us that, “A merry heart does good like a medicine.”