I find so much of what Solomon says in Ecclesiastes as utterly profound. His writings do not seem sad to me like I’ve heard others say they are to them. It’s brilliant. The wisest man in Old Testament history comes to the conclusion that life is futile; “all is vain”. Life is a continual repetition of things. Indeed, “what has a man left of all his labor and the striving and vexation of his heart…all his days are but pain and sorrows, and his work is vexation and grief; his mind takes no rest even at night…”(2:22,23) The wisdom in this passage is that man has nothing left of all his labor and striving. Nothing. All our arguments, debates and vexations amount to nothing. Someday if someone reads these words of mine, they could easily say, “Hummph, I’ve heard that before.”
But there is a little nugget in Ecclesiastes that jumps out at me today in light of all the blogposts, speculations, and upcoming convention meeting in Orlando.
Long before Jesus ever came to earth, Solomon said, “For who can eat or have enjoyment any more than I–apart from Him?”(2:25) Every good thing that earth had to offer was at Solomon’s disposal. He had it all, so to speak. Yet at the end of his days, he realized none of it brought him any joy or nourishment–“apart from Him”. Years later, Jesus told us that without Him we can do nothing.
We spin wheels. Write blogs and books. Witness. Visit. Feed. Clothe. Give water. Make resolutions. Give reports. Write recommendations. Vote on them. But “apart from Him”, it means nothing. Absolutely nothing. Yet “…whatever God does, it endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it;” (3:14a) “As the man came forth from his mother’s womb so he will go again, naked as he came, and will take away nothing for all his labor, which he can carry in his hand.”(5:15)
We won’t take anything in our hands. But what the Lord does–in us, through us, and with us–will go before us into heaven. It will be stored in a place we cannot fathom. It will draw dividends we cannot comprehend. Prophecy, knowledge, faith–nothing without love. Can we love one another like God wants? A concerted willful committed love? Agape?
May those messengers who meet in Orlando bring glory to God with their actions and words. May all the plans and manipulations of man rest beneath Christ’s feet. May wisdom fall upon men and women, and a renewal of mind, spirit, heart and body be evident for years to come. May the world know they are Christians by their love. And today I pray I am leaning and resting in the Lord to accomplish much for His kingdom through me. May your blessings surpass mine as you do likewise. selahV