Ecclesiastes 1:2-4 (ESV)
2 Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. 3 What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun? 4 A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever.
It’s such an interesting word and yet according to the ESV footnote the original Hebrew term hebel refers to a “mist, vapour, or mere breath.”: something “fleeting or elusive”.
It makes you wonder what the point of it all is when our lives are so short; so transitory; so finite.
We work our butts off as we ‘toil under the sun’ (v.3). But where does it get us in the end?
The good news is: there’s more to life than this.
That although our lives on earth may be considered temporary, as Christians, we have a greater hope: the promise of eternal life. (John 3:16)
Eternity spent worshipping our Creator. The One who breathed the very life into us. (Genesis 2:7, Acts 17:25)
Yet how can we be so sure?
Because Jesus didn’t simply die ‘… on a cross, but God raised him from the dead on the third day …’ (Acts 10:40)
So while a life lived for ourselves – our own selfishness and pleasures – may be vanity, a life lived trusting in Christ, His death and resurrection, is of infinite value.
prayer : thank you that your gracious gift of eternal life does not rest on my own merit but on what Christ did ‘once for all’ (Romans 6:10) on the cross
action : pray for those who do not know Christ but reject His will for their lives