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The Vanity of Life

Solomon has spoken of the vanity of labor (1:1-11), of learning (1:12-18) and of luxury (2:1-11). Now, he puts it all together and concludes that life itself is vain. He acknowledges the value of wisdom (v.12-14) but realizes that it alone fails to bring permanent value (v.15-16). He ends up hating life (v.17) and finds his only hope in enjoying the good that God gives (v.24-26).

Solomon’s conclusions may seem extremely pessimistic. They are. But he was only voicing what could be called “under the sun” theology. What would our life be like if nothing existed beyond the world we see? What if all we had was under the sun? How would this change our life, our hopes, our dreams? What is beyond the sun that gives us hope and reason to go on?