1.Insights into the Meaning of Life
Vanity of Striving After Wisdom
Solomon is now going to begin to list the “vain things” for which men have sought
By eliminating all of these “vanities” he will demonstrate that there is nothing on earth of real lasting value.
Certainly a king would have the resources to research this topic—especially this king!
God had given him the one thing he asked for WISDOM—who better to explain this vanity!
“I, the Preacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem."
“Over Israel” not just Judah shows the kingdom has not divided and Solomon is the author of the book
Last king in the United Kingdom
Modern criticism, that has rejected Solomon as the book’s author, has not brought forth sufficient and credible evidence to support their claim
“And I set my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under heaven; this burdensome task God has given to the sons of man, by which they may be exercised."
“I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind."
7.“Set My Heart…”
Solomon uses his influence to seek wisdom and knowledge
He will list a number of things as to being “vain”
Here are the first six:
All works done by man (1:14)
Indulge in everything pleasurable (2:1)
All activities and labors—profitless (2:11)
Striving for wisdom-(2:15)
The focus on earthly accomplishments (2:21)
Overemphasis of life and living—(3:19)
8.“Set My Heart…”
When one proceeds to list all that man has accomplished, what will be found?
Anything of value?
Solomon diligently set his mind upon searching out things.
Nothing of any “supreme” good can be found
High objectives—unsatisfactory results
Look at his work as a means of sustaining his family while on earth
“What is crooked cannot be made straight, and what is lacking cannot be numbered."
“I communed with my heart, saying, "Look, I have attained greatness, and have gained more wisdom than all who were before me in Jerusalem. My heart has understood great wisdom and knowledge."
“And I set my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is grasping for the wind. For in much wisdom is much grief, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow."
12.“Cannot Be Straightened…”
“Cannot be straightened”—It is futile to try and make straight that which has forever been crooked
Always will be wants, problems, shortages, wars, inequality, etc.
As long as the earth stands, these crooked and wanting conditions will be unavoidable!
It is impossible to correct “evil” by trying to make it acceptable.
Crooked is crooked!
Changing eternal truths—can’t correct wrong!
He observed wisdom and knowledge
His position afforded him the opportunity to witness much
Greatness—great estate, notoriety, etc
More wisdom—more than all before him
Understanding—he knew his comprehension was excellent
Solomon’s account of himself—far superior to all his predecessors
Solomon with all these unique qualifications—still unable with human wisdom to unlock the key!
More wisdom only brings heartaches and sorrow
Open to the alternatives—madness and folly
Exposing lies about life
“By my diligent labor and toil, I will someday be happy and satisfied” (1:8)
“Every day in every way our world is better and better” (1:9-11)
“We can correct all the ills of the world” (1:15)
Those who obtain much worldly wisdom are the happiest people in this world” (1:18)
The world is so full of bad things ignorance is bliss.
So much misery, so much pain, so much vanity.
Plus, knowledge causes change and change is painful….
Especially when you learn things that force you to change from what you have become accustomed to or comfortable with
The more man knows, the more he knows how little he really knows!
Solomon had great possessions and wealth
2 Chronicles 9:13-28
Did great building projects…
Yet something was missing in his life…
All things which seem to bring happiness,
in the final accounting—fail!