Ecclesiastes is another book of wisdom, written by Solomon. He records here his thoughts about how the value of many things he has tried in his life and ultimately has an important conclusion for us all to recognize and apply in our lives. Here is a very wise man, given wisdom above other men by the Father. He has lived with great wealth and power. He has been able to do many things seeking fulfillment. His conclusion?
13The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. 14For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.
This conclusion by itself is a powerful message. I share it as we begin Ecclesiastes for context. We will revisit it again as we go through the scripture, but take a few moments to contemplate it. Then remember it as you read through Ecclesiastes and see all the pursuits which Solomon tried to find fulfillment… and came up empty. Most of us today are still trying to find fulfillment without the Father and we too will come up empty if we continue on that path.
The Futility of All Endeavor
1The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
2“Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher,
“Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.”
3What advantage does man have in all his work
Which he does under the sun?
4A generation goes and a generation comes,
But the earth remains forever.
5Also, the sun rises and the sun sets;
And hastening to its place it rises there again.
6Blowing toward the south,
Then turning toward the north,
The wind continues swirling along;
And on its circular courses the wind returns.
7All the rivers flow into the sea,
Yet the sea is not full.
To the place where the rivers flow,
There they flow again.
8All things are wearisome;
Man is not able to tell it.
The eye is not satisfied with seeing,
Nor is the ear filled with hearing.
9That which has been is that which will be,
And that which has been done is that which will be done.
So there is nothing new under the sun.
10Is there anything of which one might say,
“See this, it is new”?
Already it has existed for ages
Which were before us.
11There is no remembrance of earlier things;
And also of the later things which will occur,
There will be for them no remembrance
Among those who will come later still.