“Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labor that I had labored to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 2:11
The book of Ecclesiastes highlights the emptiness of trying to be happy apart from God. I believe it is human to worry about the future. It is human to thrive to be rich, we find ourselves sometimes engulfed in an endless pursuit of wealth, possession, and power. Recently I came to the point of asking myself; “when does it end? When does one say ” I have had enough” The rich want to be richer, the wise, wiser, when does it ever end? We all seem to be in a busy marketplace with both loud and silent sale pitches. It can be easy to lose sight of who we are and why we do what we do.
Looking at the life of the wisest, richest, most influential king in Israel’s history Solomon. One can draw certain life changing lessons. Solomon had it all; possessions, the wisdom, fame, and greatness. “So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me” Ecclesiastes 2:9.
He denied himself nothing that his heart desired. He had wives, servants, and lots of possessions, he had everything a man could ask for. If he lived today, I am pretty sure he would have had a huge following. Everyone will want to listen to his wisdom. Okay hear what he had to say at the end of the day 12:8″Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity”
The book is rich with many practical lessons that will impact the way we live. Therein you will find wisdom for profitable living, wisdom to excel in every area of life.
Here are a few I could pick up:
- AN EMPTY EXIT: On the day I exit this world, I won’t take any of the things I have acquired in this journey. It will be an empty exit. “As he came forth of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labor, which he may carry away in his hand”. 5:15
- THE TIME FACTOR: There is a time to work, a time to rest, a time to sow and a time to reap. We need to key into the times and seasons and work accordingly. “To everything, there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” 3:1. And He has made everything beautiful in his time. vs 11
- INTENTIONAL LIVING: Seek after wisdom and work with diligent hands. “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” 9:10 We just have to do our best but keeping in mind that fulfillment is found only when God is involved. He is the potter and we are the clay, trust Him for the best designs.
- PURPOSEFUL LIVING: Make your life purposeful, make it count. We need to have an eternal outlook on life, there is more to us being here than just the daily pursuit after many things. This sums up to a vexation of the spirit. We are here for but a moment, no need to try to outrank everyone else and lose sight of heaping up treasures in our heavenly account. “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt. And where thieves do not break through nor steal”. Matthew 6:20
- ALL THAT MATTERS: Solomon ends his journal with the conclusion of the whole matter: FEAR God and keep his commandments: for this the WHOLE duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil. So while we work diligently, and live intentionally, let’s equally keep the eternal perspective of life. Let’s not get consumed in the temporary and forget our destination. Some day we will stand before the Master with our sheaves. May we look back and say “Yes we fought a good fight or faith..we finished the race” That’s all that matters. May God help us pursue that which matters.