When I first read the book of Ecclesiastes, I thought, “Wow, this Solomon guy is so negative and confused. He literally considers everything vain. What exactly am I suppose to do with my life? I mean why is such a negative book in the Bible? Did God really inspire this one? What kind of a book starts with Vanity, Vanity (Or Meaningless, Meaningless)? Way to start a book.”
Well, I am glad I persevered and finished the book because, at the very last paragraph of the 12 chapters of the Ecclesiastes, it all finally made sense.
When all has been heard, the conclusion is: fear God [worship Him with awe-filled reverence, knowing that He is almighty God] and keep His commandments, for this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, every hidden and secret thing, whether it is good or evil. __ Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
Let’s unwind these words one after the other
“Fear God” – Fear God does NOT mean, “Be afraid of God.” He is your Father. It simply means, REVERENCE God. Know that He is God and worship him. But the truth is we reverence FAME, WEALTH, PEOPLE & the WORLD as a whole more than we reverence God. What could be vainer than that? No wonder the fear of God is the beginning of Wisdom. A man who doesn’t know God and reverences Him becomes a fool for the world and chases after the wind.
“Keep His commands.” – All the 10 commandments simply hang on two commands (Love God and Love your neighbor). If we fully understand these two commands, because it is way deeper than we know and we can’t even begin to scratch the surface today. We will know that his commands are not burdensome at all. They are so lovely and we should all pray for the grace and strength to keep his commands. For what’s the use of gaining the whole world and not having Love in your hearts? Vanity!
“For God will bring EVERY ACT to judgment.” – I am forced to pause here. If every act will be judged that means every act isn’t utterly vain/meaningless after-all. Of course without God in your life and directing you, you will end up doing things out of his will that would land you in hell (just gonna be blunt about it). So while our actions may become vain because they may land us in hell, they are not so vain because they also determine our destination, heaven or hell. What am trying to say is, (in Rick Warren’s words), “EVERY act of our lives strikes some chord that will vibrate into ETERNITY.”
ETERNITY is the Word.
In light of ETERNITY, how meaningful or meaningless (Vain) are your current actions?
In light of ETERNITY, Are you seeking God, fearing (reverencing) him and keeping his commandments? Or are you just chasing after the winds as Solomon said?
I guess the Book of Ecclesiastes is not that bad after all. You should read it sometime.
You are Eternally Loved.