God's Word Faithfully Preached from the Pulpit

Is Work Vanity?

Ecclesiastes 2:18-26 (text); Ephesians 6:5-8
May 19, 2013 • Download this PDF sermon

Beloved congregation of our Lord Jesus Christ, we began our study of the Book of Ecclesiastes with an introduction on why the author says that all of life is meaningless. First, he says that wisdom and knowledge is meaningless because all have the same destination: death.

With his frustration with wisdom, he plunged into mad and foolish pleasure. He turned his kingdom into a powerful and rich empire. He hoarded personal riches. But the most foolish step he made was to gather for himself a harem of hundreds of pagan women. This turned him into worshiping their pagan idols, incurring the wrath of God. Therefore, he saw wisdom and pleasure as meaningless and in vain.

Our text today is his second in the list of vain things in life: human work, “I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun” (verse 18). Why so pessimistic about life in general and work in particular? But in the last few verses of our text, there is a turning point from viewing work as vanity to delighting in work. How did this turnaround come about?

This is why the theme today is a question: Is Work Vanity? We will answer this question in three parts: (1) Meaningless Work Under the Sun; (2) Joyful Work Under the SON; and (3) Rest from All Work.

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