Dave Hopping – Ecclesiastes 1:12-2:26
I the Preacher have been king over Israel in Jerusalem. And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven. It is an unhappy business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.
1 Kings 3:12-14
Behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”
I said in my heart, “I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.”
And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
“Here wisdom refers to what people can learn about the world without special revelation from God…Because God created the world, and everything in it, any truth we discover is a divine gift; “the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” (Prov. 2:6) But the question still needs to be asked: how far will human wisdom take us? Will information bring transformation? Can it lead us to everlasting life?”
“For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.”
“What is crooked cannot be made straight, and what is lacking cannot be counted.”
“I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.”
So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.
“Why do I have 3 Super Bowl rings and still think there’s something greater out there for me? I mean, maybe a lot of people would say, ‘Hey man, this is what it is.’ I’ve reached my goal, my dream, my life. Me, I think, ‘It’s got to be more than this.’ I mean this isn’t, this can’t be what it’s all cracked up to be.”
Then I saw that there is more gain in wisdom than in folly, as there is more gain in light than in darkness. The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I perceived that the same event happens to all of them.
What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun? For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity.
There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.