In the Book of Ecclesiastes (also called The Preacher), Solomon wrote in Ecc. 1:2 “…vanity of vanities. All is vanity.”
Vanity: Too much pride in ones looks, ability, or accomplishments; a worthless pleasure or display; a lack of real value; a useless, idle, or worthless thing.
He then sums up vanity in verse 3, “what profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun (this life)?” He had come to the reasoning that all you accomplish or accumulate in this life on earth ultimately amounts to nothing in the end. Of course, this was before the gospel.
This passage of scripture was written near the end of his life when he was in a backslidden state. He could sense that the pride in his fame and massive wealth ultimately would do him no good. It was all in vain. Vanity. It meant nothing in eternity.
Jesus spoke in Matthew 8:34-38 of the eternal value of the gospel versus the vanity (vainness) of worldly goods. In verses 36-37 he says, “For what shall it profit (or gain) a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose (eternally) his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
Matthew 19:16-22 tells of the rich young ruler who was very religious. He asked Jesus how to secure eternal life. Jesus said to him in verse 21, “…come and follow me.” But in order to do that, the man must put Jesus first ahead of his earthly possessions. “Go and sell (your possessions) and give to the poor.” In so doing, “thou shalt have treasure in heaven…”
The young man refused. His earthly goods meant more to him than did the Lord.
Jesus’ point was not that one should take a vow of poverty. It was that we should put nothing at a higher value than our close relationship to him.
What is your most valuable possession? Who or what on earth is of dearest value to you? Would you sacrifice that possession or the person or persons if the Lord called for you to let your possession or them go?
The Lord might never ask you to do that. Just be sure that it is the Lord that always holds the very highest place in your heart, otherwise all else would be in vain. Vanity.
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