The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
'Vanity of vanities,' says the Preacher;
'Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.'
Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain.
The Book of Ecclesiastes opens with some utterly depressing Verses. Note: It was written by earth's wisest man.
He's not speaking about superficial appearances, but superficial work.
It's busyness without God's direction. 'Behold, the peoples labor to feed the fire, and nations weary themselves in vain' (Habakkuk 2:13).
Add in superficial overthinking. 'Be warned: the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body' (Ecclesiastes 12:12).
Before Christ, I considered myself smart and industrious, ceaselessly busy... believing excellent accomplishments were the hallmarks of a successful life. Learning how wrong I was saved me, because...
Unless God calls us, gives us the right plan (and actually does the work through us), our efforts and exploits are meaningless. Also, er're losing precious time and joy.
Consider some lessons from Solomon:
1) Even wisdom from God can get twisted. When Solomon became full of himself (and not God), his grand acts were meaningless.
2) Perhaps one way the wise king got confused was getting too close to godless people, including his idol-worshipping wives.
3) When holy fires put all works to the test, what endures is what was did in Jesus: love, kindness and obedience to Him.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: seek your Lord's will in every dream, thought, step, purchase, activity, relationship, audition, offer, song, dance, script and job.
The vanity of worthless achievements will become the joy of a life well-lived.
## What Is The Vanity Of Vanities?
NOTE: This is a 2021 update of a 2011 Carey Lewis Devotion. You may see notes to 'Actors, Models & Talent for Christ.' If you think you're not in show business, think again. Shakespeare said, 'All the world's a stage and all its men and women merely players. Mostly true. But you're not merely players. You are messengers and ambassadors for the King of kings.
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the What Is The Vanity Of Vanities? series.