All things, considered as abstract from God, and apart from Him, all worldly employments and enjoyments, are vanity of vanities, and if there were no supernatural method of giving peace to the heart and another life to follow, were indeed made in vain.
1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
2 Vanity of vanities, saith 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 whereof 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 sons of man to be exercised therewith.
14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, 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.
Ecclesiastes 1:1 – J. Vernon McGee
Ecclesiastes 1:2 – J. Vernon McGee
Ecclesiastes 1:3-4 – J. Vernon McGee
Ecclesiastes 1:5-7 – J. Vernon McGee
Ecclesiastes 1:8 – J. Vernon McGee
Ecclesiastes 1:9 – J. Vernon McGee
Ecclesiastes 1:10-14 – J. Vernon McGee
Ecclesiastes 1:15 – J. Vernon McGee
Ecclesiastes 1:16-18 – J. Vernon McGee
Ecclesiastes 1 – The Testimony of an Unsatisfied Soul
All is vanity! This cry finds an echo in human hearts of every age and clime. God meant man to be happy. “These things,” said our Lord (John 15:11), “I have spoken unto you… that your joy might be full.” “The fruit of the Spirit is… joy” (Galatians 5:22). Yet the air is laden with complaint and bitterness. Men are asking constantly, “Is life worth living?” The present age is full of unrest and weariness, of war and strife, of unsatisfied yearnings and desires. The mistake is that men seek to solve the mystery of life and to find their happiness apart from God, who has made us for Himself.
This book was written and incorporated in the Bible to show that man’s quest for happiness is vain, so long as it is apart from God. Solomon had unbounded opportunities for pursuing his quest. Youth, wealth, wisdom, royalty, human love were his, but when all were mixed in the golden cup of his life, he turned from the draught unsatisfied and sad. Listen to the sigh of the sated voluptuary: Vanity of vanities! Let us turn from these bitter experiences to I John 2:15-17. —Through the Bible Day by Day
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3 What ____________ hath a man of all his ____________ which he taketh under the sun?
11 There is no remembrance of ____________ things; neither shall there be any ______________________ of things that are to ________ with those that shall come __________.
12 ¶ I the ________________ was king over Israel in __________________.
Ecclesiastes 1:7—All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full.
The complaint of this chapter is the tiresome monotony of existence. Always the same tedious routine! The jaded soul of the worldling, who has put God out of his life, sees nothing fresh or interesting anywhere, and yawns with weariness. King Solomon had everything that the world could give to make his years rich, glad, and useful. But his heart turned away from God to things, from the only true God to idols, from the spiritual to the sensual, from heaven to earth; and he became a jaded voluptuary, who records his experiences on these pages, to warn coming generations. His words remind us of Byron’s lament at his life being in the sere and yellow leaf; of the closing sentence of “Vanity Fair”; and of entries in the journals of the world’s greatest wits and courtiers.
All the rivers of earthly joy may be flowing into your heart, but they will never fill it. They may recede, or dry up, or ebb; but if not, still they will never satisfy. The pleasures of this world after a while become monotonous, and pall on our taste. The appetite grows with its food. But in Christ there is perennial interest. The water that He gives rises up to eternal life. In his love and service there is always satisfaction and blessedness. We need not go outside of Him for new delights; and to know Him is to possess a secret which makes all things new.
I know of a gentleman, who has everything that wealth can give, but who is kept in a perpetual state of irritation, because he cannot eradicate the daisies from his lawn. There is a freckle on every flower, a stain on every leaf, a drawback in every lot, that we may be driven to find perfect fruition in God only. —Our Daily Homily