We have to start this chapter with vs. 24. “There is nothing better for mortals than to eat and drink, and find enjoyment in their toil.” Now that is a verse to live by! The author states the obvious when he notices that the life and the death of the wise and the foolish are the same. He wonders what the point is to be wise, or we can also say to be good, if both the good and the bad, the wise and the foolish end up in the same position?
He lists all of his works which were better and more impressive than anyone else who came before him. He states, and I don’t think he is bragging simply because he is trying to make a point, that whatever he wanted he allowed himself to have. It was at this point that he realized that all that he did and all that he pursued was vanity. This word vanity describes our living our lives for ourselves and for our purposes. This word vanity describes a life of pursuits as opposed to a life of pursuing the Lord. When we live a hedonistic life, then it is completely vanity. Now, we don’t always think it is hedonism, because we don’t think we are living with ourselves, but it is.
But if our pursuit is to please God, then that is all different, but he does call even that vanity.