Bible Reading: Ecclesiastes 2:1-11
Key Verse: Verse 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.”
Key Words: Then I looked
This is what I call the “I” chapter of the Bible. Solomon uses the personal pronoun “I” some 34 times in this one chapter alone.
A quick overview of Solomon’s “I” reveals his self-centeredness. I said, I sought, I made, I got, I gathered, I was great; but then he comes to verse 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.”
There is no joy or peace in “I.” Only what’s done for Christ will last.
Our Daily Bread records the following: “Tennis star Boris Becker was at the very top of the tennis world – yet he was on the brink of suicide. He said, ‘I had won Wimbledon twice before, once as the youngest player. I was rich. I had all the material possessions I needed…It’s the old song of movie stars and pop stars who commit suicide. They have everything, and yet they are so unhappy. I had no inner peace. I was a puppet on a string.’
“Becker is not the only one to feel that sense of emptiness. The echoes of a hollow life pervade our culture. One doesn’t have to read many contemporary biographies to find the same frustration and disappointment. Jack Higgens, author of such successful novels as The Eagle Has Landed, was asked what he would like to have known as a boy. His answer: ‘That when you get to the top, there’s nothing there.’”
Maybe that’s the reason Solomon said (verse 26), “For God giveth to a man that is good in his [God’s] sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit” (not what God gives, but what man attains).
It’s always wise to remember when we make life about us, things, and reaching the top, we soon discover we’ve gone the wrong way and end up on the bottom.
What to do:
✞ There is no “I” in joy and peace but it is in the center of pride.
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