Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Ecclesiastes 2:18-19 -- On Labor and Vanity

"Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me.
And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have shewed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity."
Ecclesiastes 2:18-19

These verses are part of a much larger discourse where it seems like the writer is trying to figure out the purpose of life.  Here, he realizes that it isn't to labor and earn earthly things, because at death they are just left to others, and may or may not be taken care of or respected at all.

That's a hard thing to remember, because work *is* important, and we value almost by definition the things that we work for.  It is hard to remember that we still owe everything we have to God, whether or not we worked for it.  It's part of the gospel package to give to others and to help them, but when we claim ownership of things and they become especially valuable to us, it is hard even to consider that someone else might need them more than we do.

Today, let's remember the vanity of chasing wealth or accumulating things.  Let's place more importance on people than things, and on helping others over luxury.  God is leading us to what is truly important and what will make us happy.  Let's trust him and live his way rather than trying to find meaning in acquisition.

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