-Solomon’s practical counsel now begins with some thoughts on the futile life spent apart from the saving and sustaining power of a holy, righteous, and loving God. The Preacher has seen the evil of man gaining, as a gift from God, riches, wealth, and honor to the point that his soul lacks nothing only to find that a foreigner has enjoyment of his material blessings. This is vanity and a severe affliction by decree. Even if a man fathers a hundred children (hyperbole, but in his time with the many wives that he had it was certainly possible) and lives many years but has an unsatisfied soul with the good things and an improper burial at the time of his death, Solomon says (not God notice), “Better the miscarriage than he.” Miscarriages never see the sun and never know anything, but they are better off than the futile man even if he lives 2,000 years without enjoying good things. Everyone will die, this is the one place that he speaks of. This is NOT a declaration of universalism or nihilism in any form. It is simply an acknowledgement that mankind all has the same destiny because of the curse of sin, that being physical death. All a man’s labor is for his taste buds in his mouth, but the appetite is never satisfied. In this depressed state, Solomon wonders what advantage a wise man, as well as the poor man who is industrious, has over a fool. The futile and striving after the wind mind believes that what is seen by the eye (the physical-material world) is better than what the soul desires. Existence has already been named, by the Almighty, and it knows what man is. Man cannot dispute with Him (I take this pronoun as a reference to God here), because He is stronger than mankind. There are many words that increase futility, and they are of no advantage. The questions remain for the unsaved person, “For who knows what is good for a man during his lifetime, during the few years of his futile life? He will spend them like a shadow. For who can tell a man what will be after him under the sun (Ecclesiastes 6:1-12)?”
-*Application* Only God knows the future, and man can never really predict it with total accuracy. Each day must be lived with its own value, and this is what Jesus taught as well (Matthew 6:34). This is why we must seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and then all these enjoyable, life-giving, things will be added unto us (Matthew 6:33). Therefore, like Jesus has clearly told us, do not worry about tomorrow. We must resolve NOT to live a futile life.
Verse to Memorize: Ecclesiastes 6:12