Depending upon which translation you read, the Preacher tells us that all of life is vanity, is meaningless, or is like a vapor (Ecclesiastes 1:2). If we spend time evaluating his claim, we would need to acknowledge that he is correct. There are very good reasons why the Preacher came to this conclusion.
- 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. (Ecclesiastes 1:9 ESV)
- “What happens to the fool will happen to me also. Why then have I been so very wise?” And I said in my heart that this also is vanity. For of the wise as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. How the wise dies just like the fool! (Ecclesiastes 2:15-17 ESV)
- I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will come after me, and who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will be master of all for which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 2:18-19 ESV)
- It is the same for all, since the same event happens to the righteous and the wicked, to the good and the evil, (Ecclesiastes 9:2 ESV)
The events of our lives, taken by themselves, are meaningless. Do we really think that 200 years from now any of us will be remembered? Do we really think that 200 years from now the events of our lives will have an impact on that generation?
What makes our lives meaningful is the type of person we become. What makes our lives meaningful is if we utilize our life experiences, whatever they are, to become more like God. The events of our lives are fleeting moments in eternity but what will live forever is our soul. And we determine what our soul will be like by the decisions we make during these fleeting moments of our lives.
The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 ESV)