All Christians know that the wisest and richest man (preacher-man of God) to have ever lived on the face of planet earth in the final analysis was spiritually compelled to declare: “Vanity of vanities; all is vanity.” (Ecclesiastes 1:2). In all of King Solomon’s glory he could not escape from this revelatory knowledge of God: “There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the Lord.” (Proverbs 21: 30). Solomon, just like many of us, became enthralled in his own lustful desires. God warned him about “messing with strange fruit” (Garden of Eden story). It’s a profound spiritual truth “don’t mess with them apples”, because the apple of a man’s eye is and will always be a woman, not another man. Of course, there is a profound difference between man and male. Man is about spirituality and male is about biology (nature).
More importantly, faithful Christians know that: “The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honor is humility.” (Proverbs 15:33). King Solomon feared God, and this is precisely why he asked God for wisdom that he might be able to lead people in the “path of the Lord” (righteousness). King Solomon learned the hard way this spiritual lesson: “Before destruction the heart of man is haughty; and before honor is humility.” (Proverbs 18: 12). When all is said and done, King Solomon went for the oaky-dote. That is, he “messed” with strange women, and strange women do not know God, and above all, they worship idols. Many individuals believe and of course there is some truth in the phrase: “Good girls go to heaven, but bad girls go everywhere.” Maybe King Solomon thought that he could change the paradigm. But, my fellow Americans, when God gives a “spiritual warning”; obey the spiritual warning, because if you do not disaster is waiting around the corner. God warned King Solomon personally (one on one). God is warning America (US) through his written word: “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all unrighteousness…” (Romans 1: 28-32).
God has fore warned all individuals: “For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and God-head; so that they are without excuse….” (Romans 1: 20). Even Caesar (mankind) had enough “common-sense” knowledge to go to the Bible and state emphatically: “ignorance of the law is no excuse”. “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” (Revelations 1:3).
Solomon asked God for wisdom, but God gave Solomon both wisdom and enormous riches beyond his wildest imagination. And, additionally he inherited the throne of Israel from his father King David, and more importantly, God anointed him in the position because he asked God for wisdom, rather than riches.
Some individuals do not know when they have the “spiritual victory”, because they think they deserve and others do not, because “personal” vanity against God consumes them. I sincerely believe that both King David and King Solomon knew that they were blessed: “Lest we forget”. But, unfortunately, both neglected to hide the “Word of God” in the heart of their minds in order that they might not sin against God: “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (Psalms 119: 11). King David had a Hittite warrior killed (Uriah) in order to cover-up his personal sin with Uriah’s wife (Bathsheba). King Solomon, David’s son (Solomon), was the offspring of the marital union between King David and Bathsheba. Of course, King Solomon consorted with strange women against God’s admonishment, not to have personal dealings with strange women. Strange women believe in the vanity of the idol gods of this world: gold, silver, jewelry, cars, and fine clothes.
On the other hand, Enoch was the son of Cain, an individual that killed his own brother, and lied to God about the killing declaring, “Am I my brother’s keeper”. The Bible states that Enoch walked with God, that is, he ordered his thoughts and behavior by God’s word. All individuals should order their steps by the word of God. And, for Enoch’s faithfulness the Bible states: “And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.” (Genesis 5: 24). That is, Enoch was raptured into the joy of the Lord. “Can two walk together, except they are agreed?” (Amos 3:3).
We are living in spiritually perilous and morally decadent times; whereby humankind is spiritually waxing cold. Spiritual and moral decadence is worse than “Ebola”, because moral decadence eats away at the soul of individuals, as well as, the soul of a nation-state. The Ebola virus only eats away at the flesh (body), because Ebola is caused by uncleanliness of body and physical environment. In fact, America is in a state of spiritual and moral confusion; whereby too many individuals are hell bent on taking wrong, and making it right, and making it work for a short while. The means does not necessarily justify the end.
Vanity has led too many Americans into the wilderness of being devoid of moral character. “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” (Matthew 24: 12-13). But, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof; from such turn away.” (2 Timothy 3: 1-6).
Without a doubt, vanity prevents individuals from ever coming to the truth about the meaning of life and relationships. We have come full circle in American society: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Timothy 4: 3-4).
Politicians promise citizens liberty, and at the same time, make them servants of socio-economic-corruption. Statesmen serve the best interests of the nation as well as that of the next generation. More importantly, we have some pastoral leaders peddling (preaching) material prosperity while spiritually enslaving parishioners to the “vulgar” materialistic building of their own personal kingdoms, rather than the Kingdom of God.
Question: who can deliver us from the spiritual corruption of this world? The answer is God, God and more God. In conclusion, King Solomon with all of his godly wisdom and enormous wealth had to testify that all is vanity, vanity. In essence this is what King Solomon was saying: “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8: 37). Amen.