Summary: Life is meaningless if we leave God and eternity out of the picture.
1. “Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard of no more; it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
2. Solomon asks the question, “Is life really worth living?” In essence he says – No! It seems to be a tale told by an idiot, signifying absolutely nothing.
3. The Subject of the book – Vanity of Vanities, all is vanity!
Ecclesiastes 1:1-3 (MSG)
1 These are the words of the Quester, David's son and king in Jerusalem:
2 Smoke, nothing but smoke. [That's what the Quester says.] There's nothing to anything—it's all smoke.
3 What's there to show for a lifetime of work, a lifetime of working your fingers to the bone?
I. First, the Man who wrote this Journal. V.1
A. He is a Speaker.
Preacher – it means, “One who assembles others, in order to give an address.” A preacher, teacher, philosopher, speak of the house, etc.”
B. He is a man of Stature.
son of David, king in Jerusalem – the only son David had, that was king, was Solomon
son of David……………………..I Kings 2:1
king of Jerusalem………………..8:1
heart of wisdom (1:13)…….........3:12
great accomplishments (2:4-6)…7:1-12
great wealth (2:77-10)………….10:14-23
many of thousand women (7:28)..11:1-8)
Point is this man had the resources to search out every avenue of life. He tried it all and says to us none of it is worth the effort!
II. Furthermore, his Motto.
Vanity of vanities, all is vanity – after trying to find meaning in life through women, wealth, wisdom, etc., he finds it all empty.
A. It is a Figure of speech.
A Hebraism – the object of this figure of speech is not to deceive but to emphasize by either overstatement or understatement of the facts. [Baughman]
B. It is also a Fact of life – life seems vain.
vanity – lit. “a vapor” or “breath” like our breath on a brisk winter. It’s there and then gone…
Ecclesiastes 1:2 (AMP)
2 Vapor of vapors and futility of futilities, says the Preacher. Vapor of vapors and futility of futilities! All is vanity (emptiness, falsity, and vainglory).
Ecclesiastes 1:2 (NCV)
2 The Teacher says, “Useless! Useless! Completely useless! Everything is useless.“
Ecclesiastes 1:2 (NIV)
2 "Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless."
Ecclesiastes 1:2-3 (TLB)
2 In my opinion, nothing is worthwhile; everything is futile.
3 For what does a man get for all his hard work?
what advantage does man have in all his work – the word “advantage” means “to remain over.” When we have labored what is left? What do we really gain? Very little if anything!