“I, the Preacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. And I set my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under heaven; this burdensome task God has given to the sons of man, by which they may be exercised. I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind” (Ecclesiastes 1:12-14).
The Lord designed us to long for a relationship with Him. He never intended for anything in this world to fully satisfy us. That is why Solomon says it is a burdensome task trying to seek fulfillment in this world. As the French philosopher Blaise Pascal once said, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made know through Jesus Christ.”
Therefore, after his pursuits of searching for meaning through wisdom, pleasure, and wealth, Solomon concludes today that it is all “vanity and grasping for the wind”. If our eyes are on the physical and not the spiritual, then all is futile because nothing in the physical world has eternal value. But when Solomon raises his sights and focuses on the Lord, then he sees the eternal:
- “I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God. I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him. That which is has already been, and what is to be has already been; and God requires an account of what is past” (Ecclesiastes 3:12-15).
If we live in light of eternity, we know there will be a day when the Lord will judge, or require an account, of our past deeds. If we are only focused on what we can see under the sun, it may appear that the wicked will never be held accountable for their evil acts. When Solomon looks at injustice and oppression under the sun, he finds no hope:
- “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. Therefore 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” (Ecclesiastes 4:1-3).
- “If you see the oppression of the poor, and the violent perversion of justice and righteousness in a province, do not marvel at the matter; for high official watches over high official, and higher officials are over them” (Ecclesiastes 5:8-9).
There is no everlasting hope or pure justice to be found under the sun because we live in a fallen world where evil is rampant. However, there is always way more going on behind the scenes in the spiritual realm than the eye can see. Jesus Christ, the Son who is in control of everything under the sun, the ultimate High Official who watches over all, our Lord and Comforter, will one day serve justice to all just as Solomon says – “God shall judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work” (Ecclesiastes 3:17).
The Lord sees all and He will serve justice to the wicked and save the righteous through His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus will be the judge who judges the nations in righteousness:
- Jesus is Judge – “The father judges no one but has given all judgement to the Son” (John 5:22).
- Jesus judges the nations – “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats” (Matthew 25:31-32).
- Jesus judges righteously – “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31).
So when we see all the anger, hate, and injustice in the world and our hearts break; we can hit our knees in prayer to the One who sees, to the One who is in control, to the One who changes hearts, and to the One who will ultimately serve justice to the wicked and save the righteous in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
Tomorrow Solomon teaches us that mourning is better than laughing. Keep reading to learn why.