The Unfulfilled, Unhappy Life of
By George Kirkpatrick
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Proclaiming the Everlasting Gospel of the Kingdom
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give
Solomon was the third king that ruled all of Israel. He was the son of King David and Bathsheba. He ruled Israel from 965 to 925 BC. Solomon was the wisest, richest, and most powerful man of his time. His wisdom was spoken of all over the earth. His wealth was far beyond imagination. Solomon had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines, I Kings 11:3.
"And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen. And Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the river unto the land of the Philistines, and unto the border of Egypt: " I Kings 4:26 & 21
Solomon brought horses out of Egypt. He trained and sold them to many nations. He bought lions, apes, and peacocks wherever his ships went. Solomon made Jerusalem the trade capital of the known world. Solomon also had a navy of ships.
Solomon contracted with Hiram, King of Lebanon, to supply him with cedar and fir trees to build him a house. It took thirteen years to build his own house, and he also built houses for many of his wives. With his great wealth, he built whole cities.
When the Queen of Sheba heard of Solomon's great wealth and wisdom, she traveled many days to visit him to see if what she had heard about his kingdom was true.
Each year Solomon received six hundred and sixty-six talents of gold. This amounts to over one billion dollars in today's currency. All Solomon's drinking vessels, plates and eating utensils were of pure gold. Nothing in his house was made of silver.
One of Solomon's greatest achievements was building God's temple, as his father David, had planned. Even today it is referred to as Solomon's temple.
No man, before or since, had all the wealth, glory, recognition, and honor that was given to Solomon. What more could any man wish for in this world? But in all this abundance, Solomon was not happy. What would be Solomon's downfall? Solomon succumbed to the three deadly sins: the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life.
"But King Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites;" I King 11:1
Solomon had to have every woman he saw. This was the lust of the eyes. When he ended up with seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines, this satisfied his lust of the flesh. All his wealth, honor, and recognition would satisfy his pride of life. All these would bring Solomon's demise, both as king and being one of God's inheritors.
For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and went not fully after the Lord, as did David his father." I Kings 11:4-6
After everything God gave Solomon , his lust of the flesh caused him to turn from God to worship Ashtoreth the goddess of sex. Solomon turned his back on God, and not only lost his kingdom, but he lost his place in God's Kingdom. Solomon died a dejected, sick, old man. But the qeustion we need to ask is:
"Did all this wisdom, wealth, and power make Solomon happy?" The answer is NO!
Solomon wrote the books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. The book of Proverbs records his wise sayings, and the book of Ecclesiastes graphically records his failed life. As we begin to look at Solomon's unfulfilled, unhappy life, we discover in the book of Ecclesiastes:
"The words of the Preacher, the son of David, King in Jerusalem." Ecclesiastes 1:1
Solomon declared himself to be the preacher. Solomon was going to tell the whole world how all his wealth, honor, and glory came to nothing.
"Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity." Ecclesiastes 1:2
Many times in the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon used the word vanity. The word vanity means "senseless, empty, and worthless." So Solomon sums up his whole life and his accomplishments as senseless, empty, and worthless.
Another phrase Solomon uses throughout his writings is "vexation of spirit." The word vexation means "longing and striving." When Solomon summed up his life, nothing he accomplished filled the longing of his spirit. Solomon went on to explain:
"And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith. I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit." Ecclesiastes 1:13-14
Solomon used his God-given wisdom to search out all the mighty works mankind had accomplished to make their lives better. He came to the conclusion:
". . . this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith." Ecclesiastes 1:13b
The word travail means "their occupation, their job." Some men labor all their lives to build a business for their children, only to discover their children have no interest in the business when they are old enough to help their father. There are many reasons for this. Generally, the father has spent so much time on the job, he has no time for his children. This same thing is true with corporate executives. Many spend all their time climbing the ladder of success, to find only loneliness when they reach the top. Because of this, many discover their personal lives with family, friends ,and their marriage have been a failure.
Solomon finally discovered God has given this urge to the sons of men to be exercised therewith. The phrase exercised with means "to afflict, to humble, to be busied with." God, in His infinite wisdom allows mankind to go through these times to humble them.
Some of the richest men on earth are the loneliest, unfulfilled, and unhappiest of people. Many die unhappy with no family or friends by their side. Solomon concluded: "All this is vanity and vexation of spirit!"
"I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge. And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit." Ecclesiastes 1:16-17
Solomon communed (spoke or talked) to his own heart. He confessed he had come to great estate and had more wisdom than any one else in all Jerusalem. Solomon spent his days experiencing wisdom, madness, and folly (foolishness). He searched every aspect of wisdom and madness to discover whether he wanted to be a genius or a fool. He discovered these too were only "vanity and vexation of spirit."
Many men, like Solomon, have strived within themselves their whole lives to be something, they are not sure what. Short men wish they were tall. Tall men curse their heights. Fat men wish they were thin. Thin men wish they could put on weight. Bald men wish they had hair. Many of those who have hair shave their heads. Women who are blond, dye their hair dark. Dark haired ladies want blond hair, so they bleach their hair.
In his wisdom, Solomon knew all these strivings are resident in mankind. But he could not find the answer as to why these things vexed his spirit.
"I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity." Ecclesiastes 2:1
Solomon tried everything to satisfy the longing in his heart. To feel fulfilled in his life, he tried mirth. The word mirth means "joy, gladness, and pleasure." Many kings surrounded themselves with `jesters', who could make them laugh. They surrounded themselves at court with every pleasurable pastime. But alas, Solomon eventually discovered that constant laughter and pleasures never fulfilled the longing in his heart.
Today, those who are called `comedians' are some of the most unhappy, unfulfilled people on earth. Most begin their careers with clean jokes and uplifting routines. But to keep people laughing, they turned to sexual expressions and eventually to every perversion imaginable, where anything goes to get a laugh. But all the laughs and applause soon become hollow sounds in the audience's perverted ears. Most of these comedians discover, as did Solomon, that their life is "vanity and vexation of spirit, and they are found wanting. How sad!
Solomon continues his explanation of his grief with life:
"I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life." Ecclesiastes 2:3
Solomon gave himself to wine. I am sure Solomon did not become a falling down drunk, rather he became a connoisseur of wines. He served only the finest of wines at his banquets, taking great pride in his wine selections. Wine is mentioned in the Bible two hundred and fifty-six times. The first mention of wine was the wine that Noah made. Wine is used as a strong drink to make one drunk. It is also used as a medicine. Paul told Timothy:
"Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities." I Timothy 5:23
In his vast searches for the finest wines, Solomon could not find the new wine available only in God's effervescent Word of Life. Jesus turned the water into new wine at the Marriage Supper. This He will do, also, at the Great Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Those who have their stone water pots full of the water of the Word will receive this new wine He has saved for those who are obedient to His Word.
Solomon also gave himself to wisdom to know what the ordinary man did in his work, in his pleasure, and what he did in his everyday life. Solomon was raised wanting nothing. Being the king's son, Solomon had the best of everything - - - anything his heart desired. He had the finest education, the richest clothes, the highest quality of foods. He lived like a king all his life, but never understood the plight of those who had to work for a living.
Today we have those who, as the common saying goes, were born with a silver spoon in their mouth - - - who like Solomon have no idea how the vast majority of people live. Many of these wealthy men are in politics who make the laws we are compelled to live by. As Solomon, these have no idea how to live the simple life. They are used to the country club setting and rich parties. These spend more on one party, then the ordinary man makes in a year. But did all this wealth make Solomon happy? "NO!" Does all the wealth of those with the silver spoon make them happy. The same answer applies.
Solomon continues to expand all his achievements:
"I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards: I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits: I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees:" Ecclesiastes 2:4-6
Solomon continued to try to find purpose and fulfillment in his life. So he began to build. Solomon was one of the world's greatest builders. He built many houses (palaces). He planted vineyards to make the finest wines. He created magnificent gardens and orchards, planting every kind of fruit tree. Then he made grand lakes to water all these. Today we see the same thing. Man tries to find peace and happiness in the works of his hands - - - not only by the works of his hands, but by what he has accomplished by the use of his head. Did this bring happiness, peace, and fulfillment in Solomon's life? The obvious answer is, NO! It only brought more grief and frustration.
Solomon could not humble himself before God. Solomon was high and lifted up in himself and the works of his own hands. If only Solomon could realize, if he could not humble himself before God, he would never find true happiness.
"I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me:
I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts." Ecclesiastes 2:7 & 8
Solomon had a grandiose household, finer than any other household on earth. When the Queen of Sheba came to visit Solomon, she was amazed at his household and his wealth. It is recorded in I Kings:
"And when the Queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon's wisdom, and the house that he had built, and the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the Lord: there was no more spirit in her." I Kings 10:4-5
The Queen of Sheba was amazed to see his house, how rich his table was set, how his servants were dressed, and all the expense he had gone to, to show his riches.
"And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom. Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom." I Kings 10:6 & 8
Solomon had gathered vast amounts of silver and gold. He had the finest of all entertainment, the best singers, and the finest musical instruments. Anything Solomon delighted in, he had.
In Solomon's unquenchable thirst for happiness, he sent ships all over the world to search out magnificent treasures. No expense was to great to bring from afar everything that would bring delight to his heart, and keep him entertained.
"So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me. And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour." Ecclesiastes 2:9-10
Solomon was great, and increased more than any other man before him. Whatever he desired, he went after. He had horses and chariots without number, wealth without measure. His great strength, wealth, and wisdom were recognized all over the earth. All Solomon accomplished in the flesh would take several books to record.
So what did Solomon think of all his accomplishments, his wealth, his wisdom, and all the recognition he received?
"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 2:11
What was Solomon's conclusion in all his great achievements? Sadly, even with all Solomon accomplished, in the end he declared they were all just vanity and vexation of spirit. In despair, Solomon cried out:
"Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit." Ecclesiastes 2:17
Solomon hated his life. All his great accomplishments only left him cold and unfulfilled. All his works were grievous unto him. He truly felt all things he did were vanity and vexed his spirit. Why did he come to this conclusion?
"Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me. 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." Ecclesiastes 2:18-19
The thing that vexed Solomon's spirit more than anything else was the fact he could not control his wealth after his death. All his wealth would be left behind. All his building projects would be in someone else's hands. His greatest fear was that his successor would be a man of wisdom, or a fool. And this truly vexed his spirit. What would become of his seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines? Would they be cared for, or turned out of his house? What would happen to all his fortunes in someone else's hands? Solomon came to the stark realization that all his works were mere vanity.
"For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity." Ecclesiastes 2:23
Solomon could not sleep, worrying with great sorrow, travail, and grief over all his vast holdings. Solomon finally realized everything he had accumulated and accomplished was senseless, empty, and worthless. Yes, Solomon, even with all his wisdom, came to the conclusion:
"There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw that it was from the hand of God." Ecclesiastes 2:24
There is no greater accomplishment that man can have, then to have peace with God. God has promised those who serve Him will have food and drink. Had he not provided food and drink for the children of Israel for forty years in the wilderness? Did he not use Joseph to provide food for the whole known world during the seven years of famine? And, yes God will provide for His people's needs in the day in which we live also. We need to rest and be assured that all this comes from the hand of God.
With all Solomon's wisdom, he understood one thing:
"For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit." Ecclesiastes 2:26
This fact tormented Solomon's soul - - - to know everything he had accumulated would be left to someone who was found to be good before God.
God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to the man who is good in His sight. But to the sinner, God gives travail (labor pains) to gather, to heap up wealth to give to those who are good before God. Solomon proclaimed, this also is vanity and vexation to man's spirit.
As we begin to understand Solomon's tormented soul, we can understand those who stand in Solomon's stead, today. Like Solomon who accumulated much wealth, many wealthy people today can never find contentment. Paul wrote to the young man, Timothy:
"But godliness with contentment is great gain." I Timothy 6:6
Those who only search for great wealth without godliness will never find contentment. The word contentment means "the perfect condition of life." Those who have great wealth without contentment will never achieve their perfect condition in this life. Paul learned this lesson after he met the Lord on the road to Damascus, proclaiming:
"Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." Philippians 4:11
God gave Paul a thorn in his flesh to keep him humble. Paul was a tentmaker by trade, but because of his extensive travels, he had to depend on others, who God put it on their hearts, to help his ministry. Even with all this, Paul could proclaim with gladness, "Whatsoever state I am, I have learned to be content." How many rich people today can make this statement?
There are many today, like Solomon who have accumulated much, but are never happy (content). They are always grabbing for more, more, more of what they already have, but which has never brought contentment in their lives. Solomon, in his wisdom, wrote in the book of Proverbs:
"Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices." Proverbs 1:31
Many have ruined their health to accumulate their fortunes. They have eaten the fruit of their own way, and are filled with their own devises. When we ponder these facts, we think of one of the richest men of his day, John D. Rockefeller, who was considered a financial genius. But he ruined his health amassing his fortune. It is told of the time he was walking down a railroad track and came upon some section hands having lunch, probably a bologna sandwich and a thermos of coffee. John D. made the statement he would give his fortune to be able to sit down and enjoy their meager lunch, but he could not. He died with a glass of milk in his hand beside his bed. All he had accumulated was vanity and vexation of spirit.
We hear similar stories of others who have achieved fame and fortune in this life, but commit suicide because they can find no happiness or contentment in what they have achieved. Solomon continues his revelation of those who have made themselves rich in this world's goods:
"For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them." Proverbs 1:32
Solomon put everything in a nutshell when he declared, "The prosperity of fools shall destroy them." It destroys their health, their families, their friends, and their peace of mind. And it will eventually destroy them, when they, as Solomon, realize they can take nothing with them, and that without God, their soul will be destroyed in hell.
It has been approximately three thousand years since Solomon left the earth, and yet mankind still has not learned the message he left for the world. Almost every home in America has a Bible. They can read about Solomon's tortured soul. They do not need to make the same mistakes, but they do - - - going along - - - never having enough - - - only to find out all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
When the Pharisees and soldiers came to John the Baptist and asked him, "What shall we do?", John's answer was:
"And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages." Luke 3:14
Do no violence. Do not accuse others falsely. And be content with your wages. This is the blueprint for a happy life. Instead many today are living in the `Pepsi Generation' declaring, "If it feels good, do it!."
But we, as well as these, need to know that God is still in charge of planet earth, and that His judgment hand is about to take hold of His glittering sword. God is about to bring to nought all the works of men's hands.
When the Scribes and Pharisees asked Jesus to show them a sign, Jesus declared:
". . . An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." Matthew 12:39-40
This truly is the evil and adulterous generation Jesus was referring to. Most today have forgotten the story of Jonah. God commanded Jonah to go to Nineveh to tell the people to repent, and if they did not repent God was going to destroy their city. But Jonah, like many today, ran from God's commandments, and went down to Joppa, where he got on a ship bound for Tarshish. But God raised up a great storm, and the sailors, fearing for their lives, threw Jonah overboard. And God created a great fish to swallow up Jonah. Jonah began to pray, repenting before the Lord. He proclaimed:
"They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy." Jonah 2:8
Many today are observing lying vanities, and they have forsaken God's mercy. And they, as Jonah, need to repent. Jonah cried out:
"But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord." Jonah 2:9
When Jonah vowed to pay that which he had vowed, then this great fish got sick of Jonah and vomited him out. Jonah headed for Nineveh to proclaim God's Word, and the people of Nineveh did repent, and God spared the city. As Jesus declared:
"The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here." Matthew 12:41
Jonah was a prophet. Many of God's prophets have been warning this nation to repent or God is going to destroy it. The men of Nineveh will be a witness against this nation when God's judgment hits this nation with its full force. Jesus continued His revelation to the Scribes and Pharisees:
"The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold a greater than Solomon is here." Matthew 12:42
Jesus is greater than Solomon. But what could the Queen of Sheba witness against this generation? What she saw in Solomon's house was the exact opposite of the life Jesus lived. Solomon had a great estate. Jesus did not even own a house. Solomon had many servants. Jesus was a servant to all nations. Solomon had much riches. The only thing Jesus owned was the robe He wore. Solomon had a standing army, and a navy with many ships. Jesus had twelve apostles, and one of them was a devil. Solomon had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. Jesus only had his mother at His crucifixion.
So what could the Queen of Sheba witness against the wicked and adulterous generation of our day? She can condemn it because most of the world today is desiring to have what Solomon had, instead of what Jesus has to offer. Solomon gives us insight to those who are rich in this world's goods:
"The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep." Ecclesiastes 5:12
Solomon never knew what true labor was. He needed only to pull strings to get his servants to do the actual labor. There is nothing better for man than a good night's sleep. Yet, the rich lay awake, planning how they can get more, or worrying about someone stealing what they have. The only way many of these have to get some sleep is by taking sleeping pills. And there is no rest in drug induced sleep.
Solomon is accredited with writing two Psalms. In Psalm 127 he writes:
"It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so He giveth His beloved sleep." Psalm 127:2
As Solomon stated, "It is vain to rise up early, or to sit up late, and to eat the bread of sorrow." Solomon knew God gives His beloved sleep. Only God's people know restful, peaceful sleep. This was vanity to Solomon. The wicked know no sound sleep, only travail. Solomon continues to explain his frustration with life:
"It is good that thou shouldest take hold of this; yea, also from this withdraw not thine hand: for he that feareth God shall come forth of them all." Ecclesiastes 7:18
Solomon, who at one time in his life, knew the peace of God, and had the blessings of God, knew those who fear God will come forth of them all - - - or they will be victors in God's Kingdom. This tormented Solomon's soul, because he knew what he had lost.
Many today, like Solomon, have become rich in this world's goods. But when they are on their death beds, they look around only to find their family has deserted them, their friends have forsaken them, and all those who they stepped on in their climb to the top are gone. Being all alone as the light grows dim, they finally realize their lives have been nothing but vanity and vexation of spirit. Dying without God has to be terrifying to those who once knew God, but turned their backs on Him.
Solomon, in all his earthly wisdom, proclaimed:
"The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? It hath been already of old time, which was before us." Ecclesiastes 1:9-10
As Solomon proclaimed, ". . .there is no new thing under the sun." Everything that is happening now, has happened down through the ages from the beginning of time. There have been many great nations, empires, and kingdoms. And all have ended up in the ash heap of history. The first great empire was the Babylonians. Then came the Medes and Persians, followed by Greece and Rome. Then came Napoleon, the head of France. Next came the British Empire, then Russia, then Germany, and Japan, attempting to conquer the world.
After the Second World War, Russia and the United States became world powers. The Soviet Union was dissolved, and it looks as if the United States is heading for the same ash heap.
When the United States began it was a Republic, run by statesmen. Then it became a democracy, run by politicians. Now it is becoming the ununited states, run by tyrants and thieves. Over one-half of the states are considering succeeding from the union.
This nation has elected an illegal alien to be President. This alien to the Constitution is tearing down the foundation this nation was founded on. He has proclaimed the United States is no longer a Christian nation. He is buddy, buddy with all his Moslem cohorts. Many voices are being raised up against this man.
The citizens are arming themselves at an alarming rate, while the government is trying to pass laws prohibiting this from happening. It seems obvious this nation is pushing the people to rebel. Marshal law and anarchy seem to be in the near future. If this comes about, thousands will die, or be put in detention camps. The only hope for this nation is that it turn back to God, and turn the tyrants out of government. Solomon wrote in the Proverbs:
"But he that sinneth against Me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate Me love death." Proverbs 8:36
As Solomon put it, ". . . they that hate God love death." This nation has become a God hating nation. Every time Congress or the Supreme Court meets, it legislates against God. They mock God with their actions. How much longer will God stand for this, before He takes hold of His glittering sword to bring an end to this nation? Paul wrote to all the churches in Galatia:
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Galatians 6:7
This nation has sown many seeds of destruction, and that is what she is going to reap. All those who mock God and scoff at His Word have sealed their fate, because they have been deceived by the riches of this life. They have followed the same course as Solomon did, and will have the same end. Not only will they lose their kingdom, but they will lose their eternal inheritance. Solomon warns:
"In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him." Ecclesiastes 7:14
In the Day of Prosperity be joyful because the Day of Adversity is coming. God has set one over the other, and when the end of man comes, there will be nothing after him. Nothing man has accomplished will mean much to his soul, when he is put in the ground.
Solomon's words should be read to every man who is trying to gain the whole world. What is Solomon's answer?
"Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it." Ecclesiastes 12:7
The dust man was created out of will go back to dust. The spirit (life) will go back to God who gave it. The Psalmist also writes:
"Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased; For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him." Psalm 49:16-17
The Psalmist warns, " . . . do not be afraid (stand in awe) when one is made rich . . .".Why is this? It is because when he dies, he will take nothing with him, and his glory shall not descend after him. Solomon summed up the end of the whole matter when he wrote:
"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil." Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
The whole duty of man on this earth is to fear God and keep His commandments because God is going to bring every work and every secret of man to light in the coming day of judgment. Jesus asked the question:
"For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Mark 8:36
Solomon gained the whole world, and lost his soul. Let us not be as Solomon who proclaimed at his end:
"Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity." Ecclesiastes 12:8