10 And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour. 11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun. Ecclesiastes 2:10-11
He did it all. Whatever he saw, he grabbed it “with all the gusto” he could. He kept nothing from himself. As Solomon saw, he acquired.
He was happy with all his labor. He looked at everything he did. He admired all he made with his hands and he discovered it was “vanity and vexation of spirit”. The word vanity is mentioned 33 times in 28 verses throughout the book of Ecclesiastes.
Vanity from the Hebrew is emptiness or vanity; figuratively something transitory and unsatisfactory; … Vexation from the Hebrew is a feeding upon, that is, grasping after: … Adam Clarke‘s explanation is “Emptiness and insufficiency in itself. Because it promised the good I wished for, but did not, could not, perform the promise; and left my soul discontented and chagrined.”
Solomon realized “there was no profit under the sun.” Profit from the Hebrew means, preeminence, gain: In other words, there is no gain on the earth with all the labour he put forth. He worked and had whatever he desired but the happiness was not there.
There is a TV show about people winning the lottery and what has happened in their lives since winning the “golden egg.” I do not know the hearts of people (praise God) but the entire show is mostly of them bragging on what they had done with the money. The majority of the people spent it on getting bigger houses, more expensive cars, better clothes, etc. A few of the winners used the money to help others less fortunate. As I watched this for a few minutes (all I could take) I thought of Solomon. Everything these people desired they went out and bought. Everything Solomon desired he also went out and obtained it.
Solomon’s conclusion in verse eleven is “all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.”
How do we live our lives? Do we want things and go out and buy without thinking of the consequences? Do we put ourselves first before anything else?
Help me Lord to keep my priorities straight. Help me to see “things” and “possessions” the way you see them, more as a hindrance than a help. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Show me your ways and keep me on the right path. Amen.
Have a blessed day,