“Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.” (Ecclesiastes 1:2 KJV)
What a switch from Proverbs! How do you compare the quest for wisdom, understanding, and a good name with this? Both being wise and not being foolish, perverse, or fat have specific dividends that eventually pay off. Often they pay of in measurable ways. Yet, how do you get to a stage later in life such that you can legitimately be quoted using a term like vanity, emptiness, or as though something were merely transitory? Somewhere you stopped looking at things merely for their usefulness and started asking if there is any real ultimate meaning there. There appears to be a time for everything, yet nothing new is accomplished. What is the use of doing so much and changing so little? Injustices are noted, but they do not seem less prevalent in our day than in his.
The conclusion of the matter was found in surrender. To fear God and keep His commands. The frustration for the manager is that he has been given the wisdom and the finances to handle most any situation. Yet, no matter how useful this or that is, it seems to contain so little meaning. It may be like the scientist who can accumulate great knowledge in the mechanics of how most anything works, but not have any grasp on why it works. Part of trusting in God, is to realize that the knowledge that God gives goes beyond how to do something as it genuinely answers why it needs to be done. I’m curious… Do you think that there may have been another layer to God’s blessing to Solomon back in 1 Kings 3? Though Solomon may not have understood it at the time, would by receiving everything material there be a chance that he might realize that he had nothing without God? Sometimes the extra blessings are in their own way a test to see if we will loose ourselves in the newly found fame and fortune or if we will keep our eyes on Him. In the quest to obtain that which was useful for managing a population, he received an opportunity to discover the necessity of surrender before God. When Solomon attributes the beginning of knowledge to God, how many layers of lessons do you think God was able to teach him? In contrast, how hopeless is the meaningless state of the fool who says that there is no God (see Psalm 53:1)?
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7 KJV)