Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity (Eccl. 1:2 KJV)
King Solomon wrote the words in the verse above. What would make the wisest, richest and most majestic of all the Kings of Israel say such words of futility? Just in case you are not aware of who Solomon was, God so lifted him that not even the kingdom of his father David came close to the glory of his kingdom. However, generations later, including God Himself, do not celebrate Solomon but David. What happened?
At the end of Solomon’s life, his wives turned his heart away, and he began to worship idols. 1 Ki. 11:7 says “Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon.” This gross behavior of Solomon was so unexpected that the LORD Himself said to him “Forasmuch as this is done of thee” (1 Ki. 11:11 KJV). In other words, of all kings or people in Israel, you should have been the last to do such a thing.
Solomon had wealth, wisdom, fame and a kingdom. But his father David had something that was more important that all of these. David had an intimate relationship with the LORD. This is what brought him the satisfaction in life that nothing else could bring. Solomon’s relationship with His God got polluted and his wisdom, fame, wealth, majesty and all that he had became empty and vain. Solomon’s experience has been repeated more than a “zillion” times in history and continues today. Jesus sums it up and says “a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his riches.”
Life finds it’s sweetness in an intimate relationship with our Creator. Oh the wretchedness of a soul without God! Learn from King Solomon. He learned his lesson, but at the end of his life. He now tells us “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Eccl. 12:13 KJV). Choose wisdom and learn by knowledge, rather than by experience.
Why did Solomon’s extraordinary wisdom, wealth, fame, 300 wives, 700 concubines not give him joy, peace, fulfillment or satisfaction?
APPLY THE WORD
It may be that wealth or wisdom is not your thing. Maybe yours is just sexual passion. I have heard stories of people who burned with so much sexual desire for someone, and after they have gratified themselves, they feel like committing suicide because they cannot bear the emptiness inside of them. Others would die to become famous and do anything to get there, including ruining their relationship with God just to find out when they obtain the fame that it fails to give them what it had promised. Life is playing a game on all of us and we should learn the lessons. Fear God, and keep His commandments, because this is what will make the money, wisdom, fame, etc really sweet. Yes, I am mean life can indeed be sweet with God!
Ask the LORD to help you learn the lesson Solomon is now trying to teach us so that we do not say such words of vanity at the end of our lives.