All Is Vanity
“I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity. I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it? I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life. I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards: I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits: I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees: I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me: I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts. So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me. 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. 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. And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do that cometh after the king? even that which hath been already done. Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.” (Ecclesiastes 2:1-13)
Today’s Morsel: Jules was an Italian , diplomat, and politician who served as the Chief Minister to the King of France from 1642 until his death in 1661. He was heard a few days before his death by a friend to utter a sad refrain. “I was walking,” says this friend, “in one of the apartments of the palace, when I recognized the approach of the Cardinal by the sound of his slippered feet, which he dragged one after the other as a man suffering from a mortal malady. I concealed myself behind the tapestry and heard him say, as he looked at one picture and rare treasure after another, “I must leave all these.” At the beginning of his search for happiness, King Solomon erected a splendid home and planned all kinds of delights of an artistic and luxurious nature. There were gardens, pools of crystal water, fruit trees, meadows filled with cattle, regal splendor, musicians who poured into the palace their sweet melodies. He went further, adding to architecture and art his intellectual pursuits. But when he had gone to the furthest limit, he turned from it all, with gnawing at his heart said vanity of vanities, all is but vanity. In other words, in the end you must leave all. Paul admonishes us, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” (Colossians 3:1-4) Keeping Jesus first will always keep our priorities in place.
Sing: You can take this whole world, but give me Jesus. You can take this whole world, but give me Jesus. You can take this whole world, but give me Jesus, no turning back, no turning back.
Thought For Today: Set your affections on heaven.