This morning at church, we read through the entire book of Ecclesiastes. If you are looking for a booster shot to bolster humanity, I would not recommend it. Although, as an antidote for the prosperity gospel, it has great effectiveness.
About midway through the book, I looked over at my teenage son who was taking notes with a look of confusion. He literally wrote, “Solomon keeps saying everything is vanity under the sun.”
I looked over at him and whispered, “Under the sun, yes. But, that’s the whole point. The book is meant to lead us above the sun, beyond the sun, outside of humanity’s constant attempt to create meaning for itself.”
As James so wisely realized in his words to the early church, wisdom had to come down from above (James 3:13-18). When we had thoroughly malled God’s good purposes for humanity, we needed the God-man to step onto the course He created for the earth.
Under the Sun
Under the sun on our collared run,
All’s been tested, tried, and done.
Looking for novelty, finding none.
With each rotation tedium is spun.
Here, both rags and riches ravage,
And evil dwells in sage and savage.
Emptiness follows caviar and cabbage.
Vanity is an often verified addage.
Even the wisest of men is confounded,
Pessimists proven, optimists astounded.
Favor is fleeting while folly is founded.
By meaninglessness we are hounded.
Oh, my friend, but beyond the sun –
Past the path earth was taught to run –
Stands He who its orbit has spun,
Speaks the meaning-dripping One.
Seeing our toiling under the sun,
He to His sin-sick people did run
To be stuck in a web he hadn’t spun
Until the Savior cried, “It is done!“
Death itself He did repugn,
For three days later, life won.
Meaning now in us does run
For all our days under the sun.
I am so thankful our self-revealing God did not leave us with our own wisdom-folly to discover meaning under the sun. I am thankful for the lifter of our eyes and the One whose light will outshine our dying sun. In Him we trade vanity for victory and hopelessness for living hope!