We find ourselves in the last chapter of Ecclesiastes so we are approaching the last days of our 90 Day Challenge. I automatically go to vs.12b, so the second half of vs. 12 which reads: “Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.” So I was someone who always loved to study, I loved to be in the library, I love to learn period. I remember when I was a kid I read this verse and I wasn’t sure what to make of it because I certainly did not feel weary to my flesh in the midst of my studies. I think it does fit within his vanity approach that even if we do learn many things, there are still many more which we will never know.
We read the calling card of Ecclesiastes in vs.8 where we hear that vanity of vanities, all is vanity. We heard the same proclamation in chapter 1:2 so these words really frame the entire chapter. We read in the next verses how this author was also a teacher and filled other people up with knowledge. So if anyone could say that much study is weariness to the flesh it is someone who had more wisdom than anyone else who walked the face of the earth.
The final verse is a bit sobering as we read that God will bring every deed under judgment, whether it is good or bad. God knows all things and will judge all things. This proclamation is not a threat, but it is a brush with reality which allows us to recognize that we are not alone in this world, and nothing can disappear without it being know. I personally do not think all things are vanity, but I do know that if we don’t have a relationship with Jesus, then then vanity in our life can only be exacerbated.