Have you ever thought if I could just find the right mate I would be happy? Or if I only lived near the beach, in the city or had that job. I guess all of us have had thoughts like these at one time or the other. The truth is none of these things or a thousand others will ever bring lasting happiness. We as human beings are created for fellowship with a God who is eternal, therefore we are meant to last forever, and there is no amount of temporal things that will ever fully satisfy us.

There is a book in the Old Testament called Ecclesiastes that takes this matter on without flinching. The author of this book is believed by most to have been King Solomon. Now as you might recall Solomon was the son of King David, a man after God’s own heart. Solomon was raised in a Godly household and would have heard of his fathers exploits. He would have known about the great battles and victories David had in the name of the God of Israel. He would have heard many songs and psalms of worship that David wrote. In other words he was not unlike any number of children who have been raised in church, if you will, but at some point went off track.

One of Solomon’s favorite words he uses in the book of Ecclesiastes is the word vanity. It is a rather allusive word in a way because there are several definitions possible. You might think he is talking about someone who looks at themselves in the mirror all day and thinks rather highly of themselves but that isn’t what he is talking about here. Some translations use the word meaningless or futility. The word actually comes from a word meaning emptiness or something transitory. I don’t think meaninglessness is appropriate because something can have meaning and still be transitory or temporary. There is one way the word has been defined that I like the best and it is “a bubble that burst.”  You know the bubble is okay for a while but eventually it will bust and all you are left with is air.

Another phrase Solomon uses is “under the sun.” If we put these two together we’ll see the picture clearer. Solomon is saying everything is vanity under the sun. This means that everything viewed from here on the earth upward is empty and eventually someone will bust your bubble. Someone will eventually let the air out of our tire. Reality is going to set in that we aren’t going to live here forever, and we can’t take all of these things with us.

Solomon spent twelve chapters describing what life is like without God. He tells of how he tried to find satisfaction in wine, women and song. He planted vineyards, read books, had musicians play for him and built great buildings yet fulfillment eluded him. He even went as far as to say we are no different than an animal. Without the Spirit of God that is the sad truth. Finally the bubble is busted and he comes to the conclusion that we are to fear God and keep his commands. This he said is the whole duty of man.

While having that job, spouse, title or hobby may not be sinful it is fleeting at best. We must always keep our eyes on the unseen and not be fooled into placing all of our hope on temporal things. Sometimes it isn’t fun to have our bubble busted but in this case it is best.

Written by Louie


6 thoughts on “BUSTING YOUR BUBBLE

  1. I was reading Luke chapters 5 & 6 this morning and thought again of your article. Jesus retells how one cannot take a piece of a new garment and put it onto an old one or put new wine in old skins. In the first instance, one ruins the new garment and doesn’t really help the old one either. In the second instance, the new wine ruins the old skins, and the wine probably gets spilled as well. One thing I saw in this is that Jesus would not tear a piece away from who he was or what he was doing to try and rescue a covenant superseded. Old is old, and new is new. Of course the old was a shadow and a type of the new, but the new is entirely what it is without the trappings of the old. I also looked again at the context of this parable and saw that it comes right after Jesus has plucked grain on the Sabbath and given it to his disciples. He follows the parable with a reference to David eating the tabernacle bread of the presence reserved exclusively for the priests. How interesting that in David, the type of Christ appears. I love the closing line by Jesus, “The son of man is lord of the sabbath.”

    • You are absolutely right. There is no bringing the old into the new, or else it would just be a mix, and who wants that?
      Jesus said “Behold, I make all things new.” Thank you, Bro!

  2. Another tie in just popped to mind while I was reading Luke 5 and how Matthew was sitting at the tax office when Jesus came by, and Matthew left immediately to follow him. I bet Matthew had a sense of vanity. Here he was a Jew and yet collecting taxes for the occupying nation. This isn’t to say that no one should work as a tax collector, but it sure could accelerate one’s arriving at a sense of vanity. So in pops Jesus and out pops Matthew.

  3. This reminded me of the opening of “Macbeth.” Macbeth was a thane (nobleman) who aspired to be king, fueled by his evil wife, and she incited him to murder the king but make it look like somebody else had slipped in and done it. The point is that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth were never satisfied, and rather than see vanity for what it is, they went the wrong way. But here is why yours reminded me of Macbeth, and I haven’t thought of these lines in years, but you will see why in the opening that I paste here, that the play came to mind.

    from Macbeth

    A dark Cave. In the middle, a Caldron boiling. Thunder.

    Enter the three Witches.

    1 WITCH. Thrice the brinded cat hath mew’d.
    2 WITCH. Thrice and once, the hedge-pig whin’d.
    3 WITCH. Harpier cries:—’tis time! ’tis time!
    1 WITCH. Round about the caldron go;
    In the poison’d entrails throw.—
    Toad, that under cold stone,
    Days and nights has thirty-one;
    Swelter’d venom sleeping got,
    Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot!
    ALL. Double, double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn, and caldron bubble.

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