Ecclesiastes 1:3 “What profit?”
Solomon asks a very relevant and important question at the beginning of his philosophical book, Ecclesiastes. “What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?” (Ecclesiastes 1:3) is a pertinent question, and it causes us to stop and ponder the meaning of true profit.
If Wall Street and wealth are all that we are living for, we will wind up greatly disappointed at the end. But if we live for something more, something eternal, we can lay our head upon our dying pillow and leave satisfied!
Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:57-58, "But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.“ There is profit in living for the Lord.
- The Profit of Communion – When you serve with the Lord you have fellowship with Him. You also have fellowship with the saints who are serving
- The Profit of Continuation – When you serve and labor for the Lord, you will win some souls to the Lord. You will also leave behind some devoted Christians who will carry on when you are gone.
- The Profit of Commendation – Scripture says in Matthew 25:23, “His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” What other commendation could we want other than those words from our Savior? The praise of the world will not compare!
- The Profit of Commission – The Word of God says in 2 Timothy 2:12, “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us…” It also tells us in Revelation 20:6, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” I want to invest my life in such a way here, that I have a profit in the world to come.
April and I recently visited the Biltmore in Asheville. I learned that George Vanderbilt who owned and built the palatial home and estate died at the young age of 51. He didn’t really get to enjoy the profit of his labor very long. I told April that it taught a lesson: "Don’t live for this world; live for the next world, we’ll get to enjoy it longer.” If you labor for yourself, then you will say what Solomon said in the verse just above: “Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.”