In the first 11 chapters of Ecclesiastes, Solomon, introduces us to his thesis. It’s “vanity of vanities, everything is in vain.” All the effort man exerts to make a meaningful, significant and satisfying life are in vain. Under the sun 07 catch the wind3there is no way to make my life matter. We are no more than dust in the wind. We’re “a drop of water in an endless sea” and the universe couldn’t care less if we existed or not. The world, under the sun, will not respond in compassion to anything in our lives. It’s a kill or be killed world. It is the survival of the fittest. No matter what calamity may come into our lives the winds keep blowing, the sun rises and the sun sets, the rivers flow into the seas and nothing about our lives will even arouse attention from the universe. It is an unfeeling, uncaring, inanimate force, like the great Mississippi. It just keeps a rolling alone. It must know something, but it don’t say nothing, it just keeps rolling along. What does it care if the world got troubles, what does it care if the world ain’t free! That’s the Ole’ Man that I wants to be!

In Ecclesiastes 1:12-14 Solomon says, “I determined that I would examine and study all the things that are done in this world. God has laid a miserable fate upon us. I have seen everything done in this world, and I tell you, it is all useless. It is like chasing the wind.” God’s Word for Today (GWT) translation says it is, “Trying to catch the wind.” The Hebrew word for wind and breath are the same. Most Hebrew scholars translate this as the breath that proceeds from your mouth on a cold morning. When you grab for the breath from your mouth, you always end with empty hands. It’s the way with trying to find meaning or purpose in all the endeavors that man has occupied himself with under the sun. None of them will bring ultimate meaning or satisfaction to our lives. It’s like trying to catch the wind.

Bertrand Russell, the atheistic philosopher who wrote the book, “Why I am not a Christian,” ended his life with a dismal awareness that he had never tasted the “bread of life.” Nor, he felt, could anyone else. In his autobiography he said, “We stand on the shore of an ocean crying out to the night in emptiness and sometimes a voice answers out of the darkness but it’s the voice of one drowning and in a moment the silence returns.” There is no hope for man in this terrible predicament that God has laid upon us. Yet during the darkest point of Israel’s history, Jeremiah speaks for the God of all creation, who says to us, “I know the plans I have for you; declares the Lord, plans to prosper you not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”