Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Every Temporal Thing is Vanity, Even if it is Good

 Ecclesiastes opens with the words:

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)


How can even gifts given by God be meaningless as the preacher says? They are meaningless because their meaning or value is not found in those gifts themselves, but rather in how they are used in worshiping God. They only have meaning when used to worship God, in fearing God. Such gifts are empty vessels or cisterns which can only be filled when truly dedicated to serving God.

All works in relation to such gifts will be judged by God.

As Ecclesiastes sums up:

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
(Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

Indeed, even the good things which are temporal are vanity, for they do not last. One cannot profit from such things spiritually, unless one worships God in using such good things. Otherwise, such things will be a curse to oneself, for though God had given one much, and one was not rich towards God.