Vanity of Vanities
“Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity.”
Solomon tried all things, and found them vanity. He found his searches after knowledge weariness, not only to the flesh, but to the mind. The more he saw of the works done under the sun, the more he saw their vanity; and the sight often vexed his spirit. He could neither gain that satisfaction to himself, nor do that good to others, which he expected. Even the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom discovered man’s wickedness and misery; so that the more he knew, the more he saw cause to lament and mourn. The truth itself here asserted is that all is vanity, all besides God and considered as abstract from him, the all of this world, all worldly employments and enjoyments, the all that is in the world, 1 John 2:16. All that which is agreeable to our senses and to our fancies in this present state, which gains pleasure to ourselves or reputation with others, is vanity. It is all vanity, not only in the abuse of it, when it is perverted by the sin of man, but even in the use of it. Man, considered with reference to these things, is vanity, and, if there were not another life after this, were made in vain; and those things, considered in reference to man (whatever they are in themselves), are vanity. They are impertinent to the soul, foreign, and add nothing to it; they do not answer the end, nor yield any true satisfaction; they are uncertain in their continuance, are fading, and perishing, and passing away, and will certainly deceive and disappoint those that put a confidence in them. Let us learn to hate and fear sin, the cause of all this vanity and misery; to value Christ; to seek rest in the knowledge, love, and service of the Savior.
*Excerpted from Matthew Henry Daily Readings (Christian Heritage, 2009).
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