Is Solomon having a hard day or what?
Is he depressed and just needs a sunshiny day?
What is all this talk of vanity and life being a vapor, worthless and meaningless?
Well, friends, it is truth.
Solomon was as wise as he could be, possessing all knowledge and yet, it meant nothing.
Solomon had all the richest anyone could imagine, his wish was the command of all around him, and yet, he was not satisfied.
Though he built, he knew one day it would be torn down.
Though he lived, he knew one day he would die.
"What is the purpose; what's the use?" he yells out into the oblivion of space.
Solomon discovers that without a belief in God, without an understanding of eternity, humanity is trapped in a swirl of vaporous vanity. You are born, you live and you die, and in a generation, you are forgotten.
Was this the sermon text in front of Paul when he began to pen the words of 1 Corinthians 13:1-3?
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
We live in a society where people are chasing after vaporous vanity--nothingness. They consume and consume and still feel empty. They work and work and still fill unfulfilled. They strive and strive and gain little to nothing.
The lesson of the book of Ecclesiates is that there truly is no meaning in life whatsoever, without God.
And that wisdom scared Solomon more than anything else.