"2 Vanity of vanities, says the Assembler; Vanity of vanities, the whole is vanity.
3 What advantage has a human in all his toil Which he toils under the sun?
4 One generation goes, and another generation comes, Yet the earth is standing for the eon.
5 The sun rarises, and the sun sets And gasps back to its place, That it may arise there once more.
6 Going to the south and turning around to the north, Around and around the wind is going, Yet on its courses the wind returns.
7 All the watercourses are goflowing to the sea, Yet this is not filling the sea; To the place from which the watercourses are goflowing, There they are returning to go forth again.
8 All the words are weary; A man cannot sputter it. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, Nor is the ear filled with hearing"
Solomon describes the relentless cycle of earthly life. It can seem like a treadmill, a vicious
testimony to vanity, the rat race of human existence. You know what I am talking about. Some days can seem more like a daze – than anything that makes sense – and with all
the things that mess up and go undone, we end up feeling like a failure.
Ever notice how it seems that the everyday things just seem to pile up; the things that “need”
fixing, or just in things that “need” to be done in the normal course of daily life. We find
ourselves in the position of the old Dutch proverb, “The further I go, the behinder I get” or,
“The harder I work, more work I find to be done.”
The cycle of earthly life can be heavy and wearisome much of the time; with repeating bouts
of discouragement; being overwhelmed and depressed. The feeling of futility and failure is a
byproduct of Adamic life, and I find myself living in that place more often than I would like. I
believe that the Lord allows us to live near the edge, so that we have no choice but to simply
rest in Him. After all it is He Who works in us to “will and to do of His good pleasure”
Faith always brings us back to the place where, if there is failure, it would need to be His! For
after all, He is all that we really have; and He is all that we really need – for isn’t He our Father,
and the MASTER of the Universe?
When we are weak then are we strong (II Corinthians 12:10). That’s the truth that Paul taught
and lived! We often tend to see “things getting done” or “things not getting done” by the eye
of human achievement – by our own self-effort – instead of through the divine-viewpoint of
“we are His workmanship” (Ephesians 2:10). All that is really being done is not so much about
“what we do” anyway, or of our “accomplishments;” rather, it is about what is being done
“to us” and “through us” – after all WE ARE THE WORK … “HIS WORKMANSHIP.” So,
even when we seem like a failure, something is getting done; and only the eye of faith can see
The human eye is always seeking the solution and victory in “things,” in “circumstances,
and in “situations.” If only they would change, we think we would have “success.” Yet God is
seeking instead to change us in the “things,” in the “circumstances,” and in the “situations;”
so that in whatsoever state we are in we can find the true life of joy and contentment in Him
How often we forget this and are drawn back to the “things,” the “circumstances,” and in the
“situations.” It is not easy to see with the eyes of faith in a physical world. Our lives can seem
to us to be an utter disaster; near the brink of total collapse. The grass-is-greener-on-the-otherside
syndrome is so real to our hearts. “If only I had ______,” what a difference everything
would be. Then, what comes after we actually get what we think we “need”? We just get a
new, “If I only had _____” to replace the previous one. We must not be fooled by all of this; it
is only that vicious cycle of Adam’s old search for meaning in life. We need to remind ourselves
of these truths.
Often I remember this verse:
"And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul
of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David
encouraged himself in the LORD his God"
(I Samuel 30:6).
“David was greatly distressed,” but he “encouraged himself in the LORD his God.”
We have to learn to do what David did. I can’t tell you how many times I have felt so discouraged,
felt on the edge of throwing in the towel on EVERYTHING; but then I would tell my heart the
things that my Father has taught me on my journey with Him.
As we go through the daze of our lives, let us remember that God in His good pleasure has
chosen us to be “His workmanship.” There, in His divine operation, is something wonderful
that should not, but somehow often seems to be forgotten. What is it? It is that since God
has chosen us, we are then by that virtue: foolish, weak, base and despised (I Corinthians
1:27). God’s work in His chosen vessels is most often not (if not never) accomplished in some
big-production-way that brings attention to His vessels. He uses the foolish, weak, base, and
despised; and praise the Father, we qualify! Especially me!
B I B L E S T U D E N T ’ S P R E S S ™
Study Shelf, PO Box 265, Windber, PA 15963
1-800-784-6010 / www.StudyShelf.com
Taken from the Bible Student’s Notebook™, a weekly Bible study publication available in two
formats (electronic and printed)