Vanity of vanities…!
“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”. (Ecc 2:11).
Solomon had vineyards, gardens and orchards. He had pools of water, he built many mansions, he had silver and gold, men singers and women singers. Although these may not be sinful pleasures they are indeed pleasures of the world.
Being the richest king of his time, Solomon could enjoy all the pleasures of this world, and this he did try. But the statement he makes at the end of his life is that all those pleasures, in the end only brought trouble to his spirit, and that his inner man was restless. He confessed the emptiness (vanity) of his heart. He repeatedly says, “vanity of vanities, all is vanity”. The more he tired to enjoy the world the more miserable and unhappy he became. Apart from life that comes from God, everything is emptiness or vanity. The psalmist says, In thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand are pleasures of everymore (Psa 16:11).
St. Paul emptied himself of everything in the world and toward the end of his life, although in prison and waiting to be executed, he was jubilant. Look at the triumphant words of the Saint:” Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grevious.. Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say, rejoice! “(Phil 3:1;4:4). I have all and abound. I am full”(Phil 4:18).
Look at the contrast between st. Paul who counted all things as loss for Christ, and Solomon who had all the pleasures of this world. The end of the man who counted all things as loss for Christ had a joy and triumph. Even today St. Pauls life and his words give light and life to millions.
Living a low life for the sake of Christ will bring joy and peace and triumph, particularly at the end of our life.
- TPM Morning Manna.
Stay Blessed 😊