2 “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher; “ Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” Ecclesiastes 1:2
Solomon was the king over Israel and the son of David. He was a preacher-teacher who had everything going for him: wisdom, power, riches, honor, reputation and God’s favor. What more could one ask for? How could someone who had everything arrive at the conclusion that everything is vanity? Vanity can be defined as futile, empty, pointless, useless, worthless, and ineffective. Solomon concluded that the world and everything in it was in and of itself – meaningless.
Solomon begins to outline in the remaining verses how he sees the world. He explores the reality of man. What does one get for labor? We toil, we work, we seek promotion – there is a cyclical process in our lives. But at the end of the day what is it all for?
One generation dies, another is born, yet the earth remains. The sun continues to rise and it will go back down again at the end of the day and that’s its purpose – to rise, shine, go down, and start over again the next day.
Certainly we have all gotten to this point. We have moments in our lives when the cycle just seems to be mundane and it becomes hard for us to find purpose in the pattern. We have sunshine moments and then we have rain and even thunder. We experience calm after the storm and then the clouds get dusty again. The winds blow in our lives and a big gust of drama comes in, then it dies down, only to return again later in another funnel cloud. People are scurrying about daily in a hurry to get….where?
Solomon seems rather weary at is this point, wondering what this thing called life is all about? We seem to be never satisfied with what we have or what we experience. The things we have in the world are gifts from God and they can teach us about Him and His provision but in and of themselves they fall short of bringing us true joy.
The real point in Solomon’s soliloquy is to get us to understand that everything without Christ has no real meaning. We can only find true purpose in Jesus Christ, otherwise we are just spinning our wheels looking for peace and purpose. After the crucifixion, Jesus showed himself to the disciples in John 20 and told them that He came to bring peace. He also breathed on them that they would receive the Holy Spirit. Jesus is our purpose for being here. He knows that we will experience desolate times and even gloomy experiences. But He has come to bring us peace, assurance, validation and comfort! He is life! Without Christ our lives are life-less. He is our meaning in life!
The Holy Spirit, the Comforter, resides within you. He will guide you, anoint you and fulfill within you your own God-given purpose. The child of God need not feel that there is no point to life, that they are just spinning their wheels in this world. 11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). If you are feeling as if your life is spinning into a mundane cycle, ask yourself if your are truly fulfilling God’s purpose for you.