Ecclesiastes is probably one of my most favorite books of the Bible. Aside from the fact that the wisest person to ever live (besides Jesus) wrote it, I find such comfort in its dense twelve chapters. No matter where I find myself in life, praising on the mountain top or mourning in the valley, I can open up to Ecclesiastes and it puts everything into perspective.
Vanity is the main theme of Ecclesiastes. Fleeting. A vapor. Meaningless. Futile. Incomprehensible. Unfathomable. These are the some of the meanings of the 38 times the word vanity is used in the book. It doesn’t take long for Solomon to begin describing this, “Vanity of vanities. All is vanity!” Chapter 1, verse 2. Just a little further down you read,
“All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it…What has
been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done.
And there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecc. 1:8-9)
This got me thinking about that phrase we hear often about “history repeating itself.” I think this fits here. Since sin entered the world, there has been brokenness all around us. Inequality. Social injustice. Unkindness. Natural disasters. The list goes on and on. We know the things of this world don’t last, and Solomon tells us the things that have happened have happened and there’s nothing we can do about.
Sometimes I feel helpless when it comes to ending global poverty. I frequently cry out to God wondering why I was born in a loving, affluent, comfortable home when and millions of others were born in impoverished, disease plagued areas bereft of simple resources like clean drinking water and bandages. Then I remember Solomon’s words: What has been done is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done.” There is no sense of paralyzing myself by asking God this question over and over when all it seems to do is lead to inaction when it comes to helping the poor.
Instead, I am reminded of Deuteronomy 15:11, “For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’ YES. There will always be someone to lend a helping hand to. Whether that is helping your neighbor bring in groceries or giving your money to provide education for children in Haiti. We know there will be injustices in this world until our Righteous Judge brings his perfect Kingdom to earth. Until that day, what’s done is done and what are you going to do about it? I hope you join me in choosing to thank God for his many material blessings and leverage them for His name and fame. Do that right now by giving to Project 117 here.
– Emily May