The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
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? A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. (Ecclesiastes 1:1-4 ESV)
What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there a thing of which it is said, "See, this is new"?
It has been already in the ages before us.
There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance of later things yet to be among those who come after.
(Ecclesiastes 1:9-11 ESV)
• All will fade away, nothing lasts
• When life is viewed without considering God, all is insignificant and meaningless
• According to the ESV Study Bible notes the statement is not all-exclusive, but a broad statement: "there are very few people who make any significant impact on the course of world history; the majority of the human race lives and dies in obscurity. The seemingly never-ending march of human generations thus appears to be as purposeless as the repetitive cycles of the natural world."
• The Preacher understood all was temporary on the Earth, even pleasure does not last
• Satisfaction is transient at best: how much money is enough for a rich man? Just a little more. How many championships for a sports team? One more.
All is Futility (Ecclesiastes 2.12-17)
So I turned to consider wisdom and madness and folly. For what can the man do who comes after the king? Only what has already been done.
13 Then I saw that there is more gain in wisdom than in folly, as there is more gain in light than in darkness.
14 The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I perceived that the same event happens to all of them.
15 Then I said in my heart, "What happens to the fool will happen to me also. Why then have I been so very wise?" And I said in my heart that this also is vanity.
16 For of the wise as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. How the wise dies just like the fool!
17 So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind.
• Everything we have fades away
• Everything we do is forgotten
• Rich and poor suffer the same fate
All Has Been Heard (Ecclesiastes 12.13-14)
13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.
• The only lasting thing comes from obedience to God
• Another ESV Study Bible note says: "The whole duty of man thus involves genuine faith in God, as well as works, which are the inevitable result of true faith."
• Follow His commandments- devotion to Christ
• What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? (James 2:14 ESV)
• What we do cannot save us, but if we are in Christ we should do the right things as a fruit of our salvation
• To truly be devoted to Christ turn to Christ and be saved- it is the only way to find real fulfillment
• Through salvation in Christ we can become fulfilled in God