I said to myself, “Come on, let’s try pleasure. Let’s look for the ‘good things’ in life.” But I found that this, too, was meaningless. So I said, “Laughter is silly. What good does it do to seek pleasure?” After much thought, I decided to cheer myself with wine. And while still seeking wisdom, I clutched at foolishness. In this way, I tried to experience the only happiness most people find during their brief life in this world.
I also tried to find meaning by building huge homes for myself and by planting beautiful vineyards. I made gardens and parks, filling them with all kinds of fruit trees. I built reservoirs to collect the water to irrigate my many flourishing groves. I bought slaves, both men and women, and others were born into my household. I also owned large herds and flocks, more than any of the kings who had lived in Jerusalem before me. I collected great sums of silver and gold, the treasure of many kings and provinces. I hired wonderful singers, both men and women, and had many beautiful concubines. I had everything a man could desire!
So I became greater than all who had lived in Jerusalem before me, and my wisdom never failed me. Anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure. I even found great pleasure in hard work, a reward for all my labors. But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere.
If there is a Book in the Bible that confronts people of a pointless life more, it could have been the Book of Ecclesiastes. During my journey through the Book of 1 Kings, I found King Solomon’s life as something both ‘awesome’ and ‘pitiful’, and when you go to the Book of Ecclesiastes, you’ll know why it is pitiful (since it has been said that the author of Ecclesiastes is King Solomon). The Book of Ecclesiastes is a warning to young people for the dangers of human wisdom and rather live obeying God all the days of your life.
These verses in the Bible remind me of so many movies where the lead actor has all that he wants, but when he’s alone, he knows it’s all meaningless.
And for this post, what I am going to talk about is the VANITY OF SELF-INDULGENCE.
Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?. . .All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. . .I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind. – Ecclesiastes 1: 2,8,14
‘ALL IS VANITY’ said the wisest man who ever lived on Earth! All is Vanity; even those what he did for himself. All is vanity; even what you’ve been working on for years. ALL IS VANITY! Everything is pointless, and that should be what keeps our feet on the ground. ALL IS VANITY; if our labor is not for the kingdom of God.
Ecclesiastes 2:1–I said to myself, “Come on, let’s try pleasure. Let’s look for the ‘good things’ in life.” But I found that this, too, was meaningless.
Finding what pleases you is meaningless, if what pleases you is self-centered. Whatever it is, as long as God is out of the picture, it’s nothing.
There is nothing in our lives that we should be proud of. All that we have should give us a grateful heart because the bountiful mercy of God has been freely given to us although we are not worthy of it. If you don’t live a life that depend on the confidence that God has given us through Jesus Christ, our lives are nothing!
Wealth is nothing! You might have billions of money in your bank account, but if you’ll just use it selfishly, it’s nothing. You just even made your life worse than the day before because you let sin grow more in your life. Blessings are something that we should share. Don’t keep wealth just to satisfy yourself. Learn from the life of King Solomon who said, “There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere (Ecc. 2:11b).”NOTHING!
A carnal mind might be left in so much awe with the accomplishments of King Solomon and got so fixated with the thought that he can also gain the same thing while living here on earth, but let’s not forget the words that he left for us: ALL IS VANITY! Everything is nothing but chasing the wind!
His life should humble us down. He, who was blessed by God with so many things, even said ‘ALL IS VANITY’ because he knows it’s not what really makes his stay on earth worthwhile. Obeying God is what really can make our lives meaningful (Ecc 12:9-14). His life should remind us to seek God more, praise Him with all our hearts, and surrender everything.
But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. -Ecclesiastes 2:11a
What the things he was talking about?:
I also tried to find meaning by building huge homes for myself and by planting beautiful vineyards. I made gardens and parks, filling them with all kinds of fruit trees. I built reservoirs to collect the water to irrigate my many flourishing groves. I bought slaves, both men and women, and others were born into my household. I also owned large herds and flocks, more than any of the kings who had lived in Jerusalem before me. I collected great sums of silver and gold, the treasure of many kings and provinces. I hired wonderful singers, both men and women, and had many beautiful concubines. I had everything a man could desire! -Ecclesiastes 2: 4-8
He had everything a man could desire, but he called everything ‘MEANINGLESS’. Huge homes, vineyards, garden, parks, reservoirs, slaves, herds and flocks, silver and gold and entertainers; what else could he ask for? He has everything, but he still said: It’s like chasing the wind.
As what I always tell my readers, nothing in this world can satisfy us. Nothing that is seen can make us truly happy. No clowns, no friends, no lovers and no family members can make us happy the way GOD makes us happy. Being in His presence is what can really make us truly happy. That’s why He said “Store up your treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21)…” He should be our treasure. Being with Him should be something that will make us truly happy. King Solomon knows that. Nothing on earth can satisfy him. Only God can satisfy him.
Let’s learn from King Solomon, and shout with him; ALL IS VANITY (Ecc. 1:2)! Every earthly things are vanity! And let’s join King Solomon’s father as he say these words:
O God, You are my God; earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh faints for You, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon You in the sanctuary, beholding Your power and glory. Because Your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise You. -Psalm 63:1-3
In Everyday of your life, know that everything you do out of selfishness is all vanity.
Desiring, Obeying and Loving GOD are the only things that matter.
God bless you! 😀