"''THE PREACHER SAYS..."
By Harold Stoddard
"The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king
"Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all
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
"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."
HOW DO I ESCAPE?
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.
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
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