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Futility

Solomon was the son of King David and succeeded David on the throne of Israel.  His life is remembered for the building of the temple in Jerusalem and for writing three books of the Bible…Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon.  Some scholars have stated that Solomon wrote the Song of Solomon as a young man due to its sensual descriptions of love.  Then he wrote the Proverbs as a father writing to his sons for their admonition.  And, he wrote Ecclesiastes near the end of his life after living a personal life that was not always exemplary of the wisdom that God had granted to him.   Ecclesiastes 1 is the reflection of feeling empty about all of the life’s experiences that a man had along his journey.  Here is what he wrote in Ecclesiastes 1 from the Living Bible’s paraphrase…..His statements here sound more like the beliefs of Hinduism or Buddhism than a man who has faith in the Lord God.

In my opinion, nothing is worthwhile; everything is futile.  For what does a man get for all his hard work?

Generations come and go, but it makes no difference.  The sun rises and sets and hurries around to rise again. The wind blows south and north, here and there, twisting back and forth, getting nowhere.*  The rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full, and the water returns again to the rivers and flows again to the sea . . . 8-11 everything is unutterably weary and tiresome. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied; no matter how much we hear, we are not content.

History merely repeats itself. Nothing is truly new; it has all been done or said before. What can you point to that is new? How do you know it didn’t exist long ages ago? We don’t remember what happened in those former times, and in the future generations no one will remember what we have done back here.  (Ecclesiastes 1).

The great Baptist preacher, Charles Spurgeon, in a sermon he preached on futility, spoke these words….

It is wasting time to look for milk in a gatepost or blood in a turnip, or sense in a fool.  Never offer a looking-glass to a blind man. If a man is so proud that he will not see his faults, he will only quarrel with you for pointing them out to him.

It is of no use to hold a lantern to a mole, or to talk of heaven to a man who cares for nothing but his dirty money.

It is not wise to aim at impossibilities—it is a waste of powder to fire at the man in the moon.  It is never worthwhile to do un­necessary things. Never grease a fat sow, or praise a proud man. Don’t make clothes for fishes. Don’t paint lilies or garnish the gospel. Never bind up a man’s head before it is broken, or comfort a conscience that will not confess.  Long ago my experiences taught me not to dispute with anybody about tastes and whims; one might as well argue about what you can see in the fire. It is of no use ploughing the air, or trying to convince a man against his will in matters of no consequence.C. H. Spurgeon