The Futility of Work

May 5, 2024    Daniel Englehart

This morning as we continue in our study through the book of Ecclesiastes, we consider Ecclesiastes 2:18-26. We see the vanity of work, the victory of Jesus' work, and how the victory of Jesus' work affects our vocation. The Preacher begins to give himself over to despair concerning all his work that he had labored at under the sun. He sees vanity in work as he considers the reward of a lifetime of work is leaving everything to be enjoyed by someone who did not toil for it. He asks, "For what does a person get with all his work and all his efforts that he labors at under the sun? For all his days are filled with grief, and his occupation is sorrowful; even at night, his mind does not rest. This too is futile" (Ecclesiastes 2:22-23).

The vanity of work points us to the victory of Jesus and His work. We want to follow Jesus in response to His work for our joy, as we work and toil for the joy of others. Our new work as disciples of Jesus is to make much of Him and make disciples of all nations. This vocation is not vanity. The work Jesus has given us is not futility, but eternally fulfilling.