“Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.”~ Ecclesiastes 1:2
Does this verse ring of utter positivity and make you excited to read on?!
I sure hope so…
As you read on… Mentally tag the word, vanity.
Moving on, the writer Solomon begins to depict the many things that humanity prizes and esteems. But he often circles around and depicts it all as, you guessed it- Vanity!
Solomon in all his wisdom mirrored the words of his father David in Psalms 94:11 when David states,
“The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.”
Both writings use the same word for vanity. The Hebrew word transliterated is hebel.
You may be interested to know (I sure was) that this word literally rendered has multiple meanings including a: Breath, vapor, or in some usages perhaps… a soap bubble?
But why is this important? I will answer my own question with the following statement:
These three things depict quickly disappearing and ineptly meaningless things. They are there one moment and then gone as soon as they came!
In context, the soap bubbles used to illustrate vanity were bubbles that were when soapy scum bubbles burst against a surface. Not only were they quickly vanishing, but they were nothing but remnants of filth. The things of this world have no value and are just remnants of things that once were and have been.
What hope does this leave for us lowly humans who live in the remains of filthy scum bubbles.
I cannot ask this question however apart from the fact that Jesus Christ, our God, has given us a new hope. He has elevated above scum and loved us despite our sinful nature that was contrary to His holiness.
The things of this world are vanity, but in Christ we are pulled out of the vain flesh and now live by His Spirit.
2 Corinthians 5:16-18 has the breakdown. The Apostle Paul proclaims,
“Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.”
In Christ, we live in the Spirit, and in the Spirit where we are reconciled to God, we find that “all things are of God.”
We who have “all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ,” are elevated above all else that is vanity.
By Christ’s righteousness, we (who were once filthy bubbles fixing to pop) can be found pleasing to God, living on mission according to His will, with the hope of our eternal residence (Romans 8:24-25).
We praise God and His wonderful plan to give a higher calling. Praise His Son who made this possible. And the Holy Spirit, who elevates us in this life and the next to be more than…
A soapy bubble.