Ecclesiastes lesson two – All is Vanity

Ecclesiastes 1:2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

Today we begin to examine the vanity of the material things in life. We are all worried about the covid-19 and the main fear is that of dying. We will be reminded over and over in Ecclesiastes that death is a certain part of living. We are born, we live, and we die. What happens after we die is of utmost importance. Solomon’s main lesson in Ecclesiastes is prepare for death. It is coming to all. It is the one certain thing in life.

Death happens to all

  1. The rich and the poor
  2. The wise and the foolish
  3. Those who work and those who do not
  4. The famous and the unfamous

As we see in this passage, life is a balancing act.  They are good times and bad times.  There are joyful times and sorrowful times.  There is a time of struggle and a time of peace.  Next time we will talk about this balance, but for today we are going to look at the vanities of this life that we spend far too much time seeking after, so let us begin.

The vanity of pleasure –

verse 2:1-  I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity.

A. Solomon had plenty of money
B. Solomon has plenty of “fun”
C. Solomon had plenty of fame

The vanity of labor

Ecclesiastes 2:11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 2:22-23 For what hath man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured under the sun? 23 For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity.

The vanity of human wisdom

verse 2:15 – Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity

A. Man’s wisdom falls far short of God’s wisdom
B. True wisdom is to know and do the will of God
C. True wisdom only comes when we trust God and follow what He say
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Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

The vanity of working just to leave an inheritance

verse 2:19-21- 19  And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have shewed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity.20  Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun.21  For there is a man whose labour is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity; yet to a man that hath not laboured therein shall he leave it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil.

A. Life should be lived to its spiritual fullness

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.


B. Leave a spiritual legacy

2 Timothy 1:5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.


C. Life is short and we need to invest spiritually in the lives of people

James 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

The vanity of earthly desires

3:19-21 –   For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.20  All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.21  Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?

The vanity of work ahead of family

4:7-8 – Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun. 8  There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he, For whom do I labour, and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail.

Read Ephesians chapters 5 and 6 – God’s Instructions for Christian Households

A. God
B. Spouse
C. Children
D. Profession
E. Ministry to those outside our homes

The vanity of popularity

4:13-16 – 13 There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt. 14 But those riches perish by evil travail: and he begetteth a son, and there is nothing in his hand.15 As he came forth of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand.16 And this also is a sore evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go: and what profit hath he that hath laboured for the wind? Luke 6: 26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.

The vanity of false dreams and ideal talk –

4:13-16 – 13  There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt. 14  But those riches perish by evil travail: and he begetteth a son, and there is nothing in his hand.15  As he came forth of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand.16  And this also is a sore evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go: and what profit hath he that hath laboured for the wind?

Luke 6: 26  Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.

The vanity of false dreams and ideal talk

5:4-7 – 4   When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.5  Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.6  Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?7  For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God.

Matthew 12:36-37 – 36  But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.37  For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned

The vanity of seeking an abundance

5:9-10 – 9 Moreover the profit of the earth is for all: the king himself is served by the field.10  He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.

Luke 12:16-20 – 16  And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:17  And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?18  And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.19  And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.20  But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?

The vanity of wealth over the gift of God

 6:2 – A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour, so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it: this is vanity, and it is an evil disease

Romans 6:23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Matthew 6:19-21,33   Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20  But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

The vanity of foolish desires

Ecclesiastes 6:9- Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire: this is also vanity and vexation of spirit. Proverbs 16:16 How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!;

Proverbs 16:16 How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!

Proverbs 28:6 Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich.

The vanity of foolish laughter

Ecclesiastes 7:6- For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool: this also is vanity

The vanity of injustice in this life

Ecclesiastes 8:14 There is a vanity which is done upon the earth; that there be just men, unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked; again, there be wicked men, to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous: I said that this also is vanity.

Remember Job

The vanity of the days of darkness

Ecclesiastes 11:8 But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many. All that cometh is vanity.

The vanity of youthful ambitions and desires

Ecclesiastes 11:10 Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity.

Author: churchatliberty

Liberty is a Bible believing, Bible preaching church in the Wilmington, NC area. We invite you to check us out. Email me at tillykt@att.net for information about our church

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