Everything is meaningless. What a crazy depressing statement. Ecclesiastes begins it’s 2nd verse with just this thought. King Solomon had seen it all; he was wise, rich, and had everything the world could offer. Unfortunately towards the end of his reign he turned his face toward other gods. It not only cost him his relationship with the one true God, but future generations would pay the price of a severed kingdom because of what he had done.
The word we translate as “meaningless” in the book of Ecclesiastes is the Hebrew word “hevel.” A better interpretation would be vapor or breath. The book, taken at face value can be quite depressing. Sure, everything is meaningless, so why even try. If you look more closely, you will actually find encouragement and rest.
Ryan leaves for MVNU this fall. He is attending as a senior in High School. I remember when he was little people would tell me to cherish my moments with him; that before I knew it he would be grown and gone. It has been like a vapor. Days and weeks fast forwarded without my consent. Now he is grown.
What King Solomon does in this text is remind us that we are to cling to what is good, understanding that all will soon pass away. The one thing that remains is our love and obedience to the Lord. No matter how hard we work, how fast time flies, or how much suffering we may endure, God is there. He adds meaning to all our lives if we will submit in obedience to him.
Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the duty of all mankind.