TOPIC: The Vanity of Life
TEXT: Ecclesiastes 4:1-8(NKJV)
1. Then I returned and considered all the oppression that is done under the sun: And look! The tears of the oppressed, But they have no comforter — On the side of their oppressors [there is] power, But they have no comforter.
2. Therefore I praised the dead who were already dead, More than the living who are still alive.
3. Yet, better than both [is he] who has never existed, Who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.
4. Again, I saw that for all toil and every skillful work a man is envied by his neighbor. This also [is] vanity and grasping for the wind.
5. The fool folds his hands And consumes his own flesh.
6. Better a handful [with] quietness Than both hands full, [together with] toil and grasping for the wind.
7. Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun:
8. There is one alone, without companion: He has neither son nor brother. Yet [there is] no end to all his labors, Nor is his eye satisfied with riches. [But he never asks,] “For whom do I toil and deprive myself of good?” This also [is] vanity and a grave misfortune.
STUDY: The writer of the book of Ecclesiastes, by popular opinion, was King Solomon, the son of David. Solomon was a man endowed with wisdom and riches so much that he had been named among the most influential people that ever lived. He enjoyed affluence at its highest point and understood by the wisdom of God, the science of human life and spiritual philosophy of man’s endeavours. He concluded that running up and down to make a name for oneself is all vanity. He said, “I praised the dead who were already dead, more than the living who are still alive. Yet better than both is he who has never existed, who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun”(vs. 2-3). In other words, the vanity of life according to Solomon makes life undesirable and the only one who can escape from the oppression and struggles of life is he who has never existed. Life is full of unavoidable challenges and crisis.
Beloved, while it is a good thing to be active, hardworking and diligent in order to excel in life, we must understand that our struggles are not supposed to be “do or die.” There is absolutely nothing ahead of us that is worth dying for. It is painful to see Christians who are known to be committed in church lose their sense of control at the minutest opportunity to improve their economic well-being. Christians must learn to be cautious, careful and contented, especially when it comes to meeting their daily needs. Furthermore, our labour and toiling should not be made to maim but to encourage our fellow human beings. We must run away from whatever will make others weep today!
PRAYER: Dear Lord, help me to know that life without You does not count and to give my all to You, in Jesus name. Amen.
DAILY QUOTE: “For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (Hebrews 6:10)
Daily Fountain Devotional 23 September 2020 – The Church of Nigeria is the Anglican church in Nigeria. It is the second-largest province in the Anglican Communion, as measured by baptized membership, after the Church of England. It gives its current membership as “over 18 million”, out of a total Nigerian population of over 200 million.