‘Meaningless! Meaningless!’ says the Teacher. ‘Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless’
It is interesting to note that the writer of Proverbs is the same writer we find in Ecclesiastes. The book of Proverbs and the book of Ecclesiastes almost act like an antithesis to each other.
When Solomon says, “Everything is meaningless,” he did not mean that everything in the world is of zero value. Rather, his point is that all human efforts apart from God’s will are meaningless. Solomon had it all, and he had tried everything, but when he left God out of the equation, nothing satisfied him. There is purpose in life, and it is found in knowing God and keeping His commands.
Solomon in his life, had it all. And in each of these things, he found no meaning.
Without God, human wisdom is meaningless (2:14–16);
amassing things (2:26);
life itself (3:18–22);
selfish overwork (4:7–8);
power and authority (4:16);
wealth and accolades (6:1–2);
and perfunctory religion (8:10–14).
The issue is, we all will die one day whether we are rich or poor, righteous or wicked. Everything we build will crumble, nothing is forever. Humanity has spent the best part of the last 6000 years building great castles and empires that spanned the globe. Non of them stood the test of time.
The Christian Rock group Citizens sang the following:
I am living in a land of death The trees are burnt and grey There's a smouldering smoke overhead And the night looks the same as the day It seems a miracle that I can stand When everyone I've known Drifts up in the air with the ash Every time that the wind starts to blow
But I feel alive with a life that's not mine Your law is a stream in this wasteland, my lifeline
So much more than precious gold are Your promises my Lord By them is Your servant warned and in keeping them great reward
In essence the preceding was drawn from the book of Ecclesiastes, which closes with the following:
“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”
In the following week, read through the book of Ecclesiastes and note 5 things that stood out for you. Bring them to your group the next week and discuss through them. Keep to greater context of Ecclesiastes in mind, which is described in this video: