Vainness of vanities, says the Preacher, self-importance of vanities! All is self-importance.
As soon as once I was visiting a small village in England, I stumbled upon a graveyard. As I walked among the many tombstones, I noticed a wide range of ages chiseled into their surfaces. Some folks had lived to be 91 and others 84, whereas some didn’t make it previous 20. But when all these ages had been taken collectively, the common life span was round 70 to 80 years—simply because the Bible says: “The years of our life are seventy, and even by motive of power eighty” (Psalm 90:10). And extra time than that had passed by since most of those folks had handed.
This sobering reminder of life’s brevity returned me to a query that every one of us ask at one level or one other: Is that this life all there’s?
The e-book of Ecclesiastes addresses this deep query by giving us a strong dose of actuality. Honestly, most of us don’t do properly with actuality; we favor fantasy, mirage, and distraction. But the writer of Ecclesiastes, Solomon, begins his discourse by encouraging us to replicate upon absolutely the meaninglessness of life, stating bluntly, “Vainness of vanities! All is self-importance.”
Solomon seeks to show his thesis by exhibiting us that life is marked by drudgery: “What does man acquire by all of the toil at which he toils beneath the solar? A era goes, and a era comes, however the earth stays endlessly” (Ecclesiastes 1:3-4). Life, in different phrases, is only a perpetual sequence of clockings in and clockings out till you die. Irrespective of who you’re—whether or not you’re an govt, a schoolteacher, or a stay-at-home mother—life “beneath the solar” incorporates a lot toil, after which it ends.
Does this depart you totally depressed? It ought to—if you rule out the existence of God. When God is taken out of the equation, life actually has no that means. There’s a motive why some folks want to flee actuality by means of a drug-induced stupor or by means of senseless indulgence in pleasure and leisure. What might look like unusual conduct to us may very well be the response of 1 who has gotten a heavy, albeit incomplete, dose of actuality.
The e-book of Ecclesiastes forces us to contemplate the that means of life in view of demise. However learn the remainder of the Bible and you’ll uncover that you could be obtain everlasting life by trusting in Him who mentioned, “I’m the way in which, and the reality, and the life. Nobody involves the Father besides by means of me” (John 14:6). Solely by means of Jesus will you uncover life’s true that means and discover the rationale why all is not self-importance. Provided that you keep in mind there’s life past the grave will you be capable of dwell with pleasure, and meet with the ups and downs of life with a wholesome perspective, on this aspect of the grave.