“So, I hated life, because the work that is worked under the sun was grievous to me; for all is vanity and a chasing after wind.”
The realisation of the futility of life, both for the wise person and the fool, and that the same fate waits for them both at the end of life, causes the teacher to feel a sense of apathy. Solomon has reached chapter two and he is already in this dangerous state.
There is no point in trying any more. The teacher comes to hate life and it’s pointlessness. The whole deal of life and it’s work, labour, suffering, folly, conceit and pride – it starts to make the teacher sick. Solomon is sick of his life, because he has seen it’s futility and the lack of meaning in what he is doing.
It feel like this in our day, too. God has been forgotten in our culture and has been organised out of everything, but it has left us with a huge gap in our collective psyche and the pointlessness of life without justice or meaning is not lost on people. Apathy takes hold and people start to live for the moment and just to get what they can out of what they are doing, The depths of meaning are lost, and we are trivialised and become trivial.
We become expendable and loose our eternal value in our eyes and the eyes of society in general. This is very dangerous for the human culture and mindset. We trivialise everything, humour becomes a refuge, and death is common and acceptable. We are seeing the death of a culture and the death of the honour and dignity of the human psyche and soul. Our minds are being warped and turned against ourselves.
Humans have an enemy who we don’t believe in anymore, and he is making hay with us and dragging precious people down to perdition. People, are being duped and culture is being used to do it. We are asleep on our feet and even enjoying it. Eternity had gone from our hearts and we are hardened. There is no respect anymore and even children turn against godly parents to avoid the thought of God or any reminder that they must turn.
We are trapped on a treadmill. Get up, eat, work, work, work, eat, sleep, get up again. Solomon could see it in his own life, even though he has such privileges and resources to distract his mind, yet the purposelessness of it all made him sick – so sick that he hated his life. Suicide was on the cards. There was absolutely no point in continuing the agony. Everything he did was just chasing the wind. People were passing shadows, work was tedious, all had become boring and pointless. Solomon knew he was in trouble, and fortunately he knew what to do about it. He was wise…
We turn to the end of the book, in chapter twelve.
“Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come, and the years come near when you will say, ‘I find no pleasure in them’”
It take eleven chapters for Solomon to get to this conclusion. He has gone through all this for our sake, so that we can be wise and follow his teaching, which is the Holy Word of God.
Life is all and always pointless without the Lord. If we forget Him, we will loose it all, even in this life. We can become so hardened that we reject the gospel, the message of hope and forgiveness and the way to eternal life. This is the danger. There is no other salvation except through the gospel of God. Atheism follows on after this milestone in our thinking and there is no way back from this point. It is so serious.
Why get to the end of life and find only pain and apathy? Remember the Lord. Remember His love and what He is calling you to do – to put your trust in Him and find His forgiveness and delight, and eternal significance.