The wisest man that ever lived whose name was Solomon had a lot to say after he himself found out that all the wisdom in the world could not prevent him from making mistakes and only God is able to direct our future.
He writes, "There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men: A man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honour, so that he lacks nothing for himself of all he desires; yet God does not give him power to eat of it, but a foreigner consumes it. This is vanity, and it is an evil affliction.
If a man gain a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with goodness, or indeed he has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better than he, for it comes in vanity and departs in darkness, and its name is covered with darkness. Though it has not seen the sun or known anything, this has more rest than that man, even if he lives a thousand years twice but has not seen goodness. Do not all go to one place?" (the grave)
As we listened to the lament and confessions of Solomon in his old age, after years of living a kingly life he notes that the possession of riches, wealth and honour does not guarantee no one joy or even pleasure. He agrees that many children and long life are all signs of God's blessings, and even the still born child is better than those individuals who never know how to enjoy and give thanks for the things he has.
"All labour of man is for his mouth, and yet the soul is not satisfied. for what more has the wise man than the fool? What does the poor man have, who knows how to walk before the living? better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of desire. This is also vanity and grasping for the wind."
He has been there and done all that there was to do, and has discovered that tomorrow is not promised to no one; so we should learn to be content with the present and enjoy such, rather than spend our time and energy longing for more possessions and greater achievements in the future. As he said he works to feed himself yet would be hungry again. In short we can never be satisfied.
"Whatever one is," he continues, "he has been named already, for it is known that he is man and he cannot contend with Him who is mightier than he. Since there are many things that increase vanity, how is man the better."
In his reflections Solomon concentrates on practical wisdom, that we should endeavour to be temperate in all things. That the value of moderations are not rules but simple principles to live by. Recognizing that only as we live by these basic principles can we find happiness and fulfilment in our lives.
Finally he added, "For who knows what is good for man in life, all the days of his vain life which he passes like a shadow? Who can tell a man what will happen after him under the sun?"
What a sad commentary! here he equates a good name with our character, he states they are one of the same. Our reputation is our good name, and preferred death over birth as the newborn had no chance to develop and thereby could not tarnish his good name.
Without a doubt we see that in his old age he was forced to proclaim that God is the source of all life, that He is the fountain of life, not just the originator but the giver of everything, he is the life of all. Moment by moment he sustains us, with pure air, sunshine and food.