This is an overview of the book Ecclesiastes written by the Preacher, Son of David as it is presented in Ecclesiastes. This was a book written by Solomon, the son of King David and the third King of Israel. Some dispute this and claim that it’s possible that someone else wrote it. I disagree. It was clearly written by Solomon, the wisest man ever. Showing us how meaningless life is without God in our lives. Hear the Word of God through Solomon, King of Israel.
The Wisdom of Solomon, The Preacher, Son of David
“The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?” Ecclesiastes 1:1-3
“I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 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 have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.” Ecclesiastes 1:12-14
All is Vanity and Vexation says the Preacher, Son of David
So, everything under heaven is vanity (Pride, Self-Importance) and vexation (Annoyance, Irritation). When he refers to “under heaven” Solomon is specifically talking about the realm of mankind. Everything except Heaven, God, and His spiritual realm. In other words, a life without God in our lives. Therefore, everything we think say or do, in the grand scheme of things, is just about useless. It accomplishes tasks that move us forward, but provides no lasting joy or abiding contentment. Life without God is an exercise in futility with only fleeting rewards, that fade into obscurity. You can recall them to memory, but the fulfillment is not the same. You’re still left empty.
Why Should We Listen to Solomon?
God gave Solomon a choice. He could have had anything, but Solomon chose wisdom so that he could rule his kingdom wisely. God granted his request and also provided riches in addition to the vast wisdom He provided. Solomon’s wisdom was very well known and he was clearly rich and powerful. So, he had wisdom provided by God and the means to share his wisdom. He had a position of authority that gave him a platform to share his wisdom. Furthermore, he had the opportunity to do everything any human could do. He indulged in every activity known to the average man. Wives, wine, war, other religions and everything else was at his fingertips and he indulged.
The Reality Shared by the Preacher, Son of David
Solomon understood all the things that were out there to experience. He also understood everything that made people happy, sad, and so on, through all the other emotions. Consequently, he understood every human condition either through living it or studying it. His conclusion. All is vanity and vexation of spirit. No matter what we do, we cannot fill that God-sized hole in our lives. We work, have great times and bad times. We seek to fill that ever-present hole in our spirit with pleasures, but nothing satisfies. We get a fleeting moment of pleasure and then it’s gone. Life is basically worthless without the Holy Spirit of God filling that hole in our spirit. True Joy (abiding contentment in what God provides) is unachievable on your own. You cannot create fulfillment based on your own actions. It’s just not possible.
In our world today we see ads that say things like: “Get this and everything will be wonderful!” “Experience that and everything will be perfect.” “All you need is this product for true satisfaction.” “That person will fulfill your every need.” All of these are lies. They are slick advertising that is short on promise. Now, advertising for things we need is important, because we do indeed have true needs. I’m talking about the grandiose lies that promise fulfillment but never deliver more than a few fleeting moments of pleasure. That being said, the only true fulfillment is being filled with the Holy Spirit of God that comes from accepting Christ as Lord and Savior. Filling that God-sized hole in our lives with the only person that can fill it – Jesus. Solomon, looking forward into time, knew this and shared it with us in Ecclesiastes about 3,000 years ago.
Bible Gateway. (n.d.). Bible Gateway passage: Ecclesiastes 1 - King James Version. Retrieved from https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ecclesiastes+1&version=KJV
Biblica. (2016, October 9). Intro to Ecclesiastes. Retrieved from https://www.biblica.com/resources/scholar-notes/niv-study-bible/intro-to-ecclesiastes/