I started Ecclesiastes in my daily Bible reading today. It is a book that I have always loved and hated to read. The main word is vanity. Hmmm, vanity. What exactly is vanity?
Vanity as defined by some online dictionaries: Excessive pride in one's appearance or accomplishments; conceit. Any thing or act that is vain, futile, idle, or worthless. Vanity is similar to pride, but it involves an excessive admiration of oneself because of one's real or imaginary skills, talents, accomplishments, or appearance.
Well, we all might say that doesn't describe me. I am not excessively prideful in my appearance and certainly not my accomplishments and I am not conceited!
But, my Websters 1828 dictionary defines vanity completely differently!
Vanity: Emptiness; want of substance to satisfy desire; uncertainty; inanity. Fruitless desire or endeavor. Trifling labor that produces no good. Emptiness; untruth.
My Scofield reference in my Bible says: "Vanity in Ecclesiastes, and usually in Scripture, means, not foolish pride, but emptiness in final result of all life apart from God. It is to be born, to toil, to suffer, to experience some transitory joy, which is as nothing in view of eternity, to leave it all, and to die." See Rom 8:20-22
Isn't that what most of us live for? We work, we endeavor to have good relationships, we search for happiness...but for what, just so we can say we lived a happy life and die?
I had struggled with this thought for about a decade. As I grew up I started truly searching. Searching for the point of life. How did we magically appear here? Did we really come from a big bang and develop from monkeys like I was taught in school? What for?
The Bible says in Ecclesiastess 1:13 "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 sons of man to be exercised therewith." I believe that at some point in everyones life they come to a point where they ask these questions. We are supposed to do some exercise to find the answer to these questions! We are supposed to "search out by wisdom." The Bible says in Proverbs 2:6 "For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding." That is where we go wrong! We look for wisdom from others. We search and search for wisdom, without going to the source of wisdom, God Himself!
"I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards: I made me gardens and orchards, and planted trees in them of all kind of fruits: I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees: I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me: I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of provinces...So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me... " Eccl 2:4-8
Sounds good right?
"Then I looked at all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and behold, all was vanity....and there was no profit under the sun." Eccl 2:11
Vanity: Emptiness; want of substance to satisfy desire; uncertainty; inanity (empty of meaning). Fruitless desire or endeavor. Trifling labor that produces no good. Emptiness; untruth.
Emptiness in final result of all life apart from God. It is to be born, to toil, to suffer, to experience some transitory joy, which is as nothing in view of eternity, to leave it all, and to die.
Life is pointless without God! God gives meaning, substance, fulfills desires, makes things certain, makes labor worthwhile, removes emptiness. God gives meaning to birth, work, joy, and the best gift of all....he gives us eternity! He gives us something better than what we have laboured for here on earth. He gives us all the riches of heaven. He gives us eternal life forever with HIM!
There is a point to life on this earth. There is a reason we are here. We are here for Him. Life becomes so much more contented, much more satisfying, much more joyful when one realizes that without Him there really is no point!
"So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17
"These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." I John 5:13
You can most certainly know you are on your way to heaven. You can know the peace of God. You can know Him. There are some things we have to understand before we can become a child of God, but they are simple! We are all sinners. We have all transgressed Gods law. There is a penalty for sin. God hates sin and has created a punishment for it. That punishment or penalty is hell. But, Jesus came to earth to be our punishment. He was born of a virgin, lived 33 sinless years, and was nailed to a cross. When he was on that cross he took the punishment for the sin of the world. After He died, he was buried, but then he rose again on the third day and right now sits on the right hand of the Father in heaven. If we believe we are sinners, we deserve punishment for that sin, but we also believe that Jesus died for our sin and rose again on the third day..... then God says "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved...For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Romans 10:9,13. Saved...Saved from hell...Saved from an eternity without God...Saved and on your way to heaven! It is the greatest promise of the Bible. You can claim that promise right now and be saved!
I love the Bible. It is Gods love story written just for me.....