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By Harold Stoddard

"The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
"Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity."
Ecclesiastes 1

All that the world affords is vanity (soap bubbles); in only a brief time all will vanish away. Even the very life of man is only for a short time -- then it goes away and all earthly possessions fade away--"Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain;
"Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." James 4:14.

There is a great deal of real wisdom in the book of Ecclesiastes as the Preacher, Solomon, reviews all the 'goodies' of the world that he has tasted, and found them to be only vanity. In Ecclesiastes 1:18 He says that in much wisdom is much grief. Haven't we found it to be so? How wise we are -- the news tells us today that we (the United States) have a bomb that contains 18,000 lbs. of explosives. What havoc that could cause, and would certainly cause untold sorrow; such is the results of the knowledge we have gathered.

In Ecclesiastes 2:18-19, the Preacher stated that he hated all the labour he had done for soon it would be left to another man -- either a wise man or a fool -- so that labour turns out to be vanity and vexation of spirit.
The Preacher found that there was wickedness in the place of Judgment, and iniquity was found in the place of Righteousness. See Ecclesiastes 3:16. He found that even riches would not satisfy, for that also is vanity and a sore travail (4:8). A fool's voice is known by a multitude of words (5:3) and the love of silver does not satisfy (5:10). The wandering of the desires is also vanity and vexation of spirit (6:9).

Living in this age when the desire of so many seems to be pleasures, laughter, and 'doing your own thing' , we need to take heed to Ecclesiastes
7:3, "Sorrow is better than laughter: for by sadness of the countenance the heart is made better." It is the heart condition we need to consider as Solomon gives so many warnings of the vanity of materialism, for that seems to be the desire of this age. Wickedness will bring death before your time (Eccles. 7:17). It is good to take hold of this fact, and withdraw your hand from that which is wickedness (7:18). As a caution to those who live a vile and evil life, the Preaher says wickedness will not deliver those that are given to it (8:8). I can't help but think of the millions of poor souls the world over who are controlled by the awful desire for drugs from which no real cure has been found -- no way to deliver them from that terrible desire.

The Preacher goes on and on throughout his sermon to give evidence and warnings of the desires and actions of the flesh...and of the results of such action. Also good advice is plentiful as he continues his sermon. His warning as to the antics of the flesh is in chapter 12:8, "Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity."

After he has given the results of his trying all the fleshly desires of his nature, his advice is stated in chapter 12, verse 1 -- "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw high, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them---". And now the conclusion is given to us in Eccles. 12:13,14 -- "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.
"For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil."


The Apostle Paul gives the only answer that will overcome the wicked desires of the flesh and provide deliverance to all who will believe --it is found in I Corinthians 15:3,4 -- "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
"And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:..." First of all, we must know that we are sinners -- "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God -- Roman. 3:23.

Adam brought death to us all, but Christ brings Life (I Cor. 15:22). So the first step you must take is to know of a sureity that you are a sinner. Know also that Christ died on the Cross to pay that debt that we could not pay, for "without the shedding of blood is no remission " (Heb. 9:22). Make it personal (not general)...He died for You! He actually came to seek and to save that which was lost (away from God in sin). See Luke 19:10.

Then Christ was buried, carrying away your sins as did the scapegoat in Leviticus 16:10, where they could be remembered NO MORE.

Then, perhaps the most glorious fact in the entire bible -- HE ROSE AGAIN the third day according to the scriptures, proving the victory over death and hell and the grave. Jesus Christ is the Way of life, and power, and victory, for all time and eternity. All this you may have by, in simple childlike FAITH, receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour. His death, burial and resurrection provide all you need for life eternal -- now and forever.

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." --John 14:6

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