1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
2 Vanity of vanities, said the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
3 What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?
4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.
5 The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.
6 The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.
7 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.
8 All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done; and there is no new thing under the sun.
10 Is there any thing wherof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.
11 There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.
12 I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
13 And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the songs of man to be exercised therewith.
14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; an, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
15 That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.
16 I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.
17 And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.
18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.
Almost depressing you might think. Everything we do here on earth has been done before us, and it's all vanity... vanity in that, where does it get us. We just keep doing the same things over and over again and they'll continue being done even after we are gone, and no one will remember that which we have done.
Kind of makes one question the purpose of everything we do.
I'll be honest, this is something I question all the time. The messages found in Ecclesiastes make a ton of sense to me. Look around at how hard people toil. They work themselves to death for what? So they can have two cars? A HUGE home? Wealth? Power? Knowledge?
The list goes on as to what people look for when they work so hard at these meaningless things. Where does it really get them in life?
Well wait a minute... does this have anything to do with our relationship with God, and the works we do for Him?
Of course not. I plan on writing more about Ecclesiastes in the weeks to come, but here is a few lines from a later chapter:
Go and live you life for God as you have always. Just don't kill yourself striving for things that are pure vanity and will only whither away. For those things will get you nowhere.12:13-14
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.