Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher,
vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
What does man gain by all the toil
at which he toils under the sun?
I don't think I have ever landed on a more appropriate passage for New Year's Even. Truly life is full of vain and seemingly fruitless toil. It can be mind numbing, especially if I only look at it "under the sun" without trying to discern God's work in my life.
That is one of the clues to understanding cynical Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes. Many of his observations are strictly human, meant to show us the absurdity of human existence when viewed strictly from humanistic terms. Without God, life makes very little if any sense at all. That is kind of the point of the book.
Looking to the new year, I must look to God. People will disappoint me. They do it all the time. I will disappoint people. I do it all the time. I won't be satisfied in the work of my days and my labor in life without God's love, grace, and perspective to guide me. I don't want to dwell in the cynical sarcasm of Solomon. I want to look beyond myself and beyond life "under the sun" to "life in the Son" as I look to my Savior!
I praise You for the life-changing uplifting perspective of the gospel. Jesus, You are my hope in this vain and fruitless world. You reward my life's work. You alone redeem me and my days from worthless vanity. Thank You!