King Solomon is renowned for his wisdom, power, wealth, and influence. He catapulted to fame shortly after gaining the throne of Israel. But many years later he laments “vanity of vanities, all is vanity” (Eccl 1:2). He proceeds to review his many accomplishments, only to conclude each description with “This is also vanity.”
Continuing to read this book written by the king, you begin to recognize his mental anguish. He had come to the realization that all his accomplishments amount to nothing. He will soon pass from this life and leave everything to someone else. “And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool?” (Eccl 2:19).
But even in the midst of his sense of futility, there is a glimmer of light. His mind turns to the power of God, leading him to exclaim “He hath made every thing beautiful in his time” and “whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever” (Eccl 3:11, 14). King Solomon recognized the limits of human power and contrasted it with the omnipotence of God.
How is it with us? Do we feel like all our efforts to overcome an addiction or sin is futile? Have we tried and failed, and tried and failed again? Solomon encourages us to not give up: “Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him” (Eccl 8:12).
There is hope. There is power available for our time of need. The wise king directs our thoughts to a God who never gives up on us. Who desires only good for us. And He wants our lives to be bound up with His.
Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up…Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9, 10, 12, NKJV.
Angeline B. David, DrPH, MHS, RDN
Health Ministries / ARMin Director