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Grasping For The Wind

Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of desire. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind. Ecclesiastes 6:9 (NKJV)

Have you ever really thought about trying to grasp at the wind?  It sounds like a funny question, and yet it makes a very good illustration for those who are always seeking to obtain the next thing they have determined will satisfy their desires.  But no matter what we achieve with respects to obtaining, we often find those things we desired and strived to get are now tarnished, and they’re lacking in making us fulfilled and happy.  We see this with cars, clothes, jobs, homes, and even with relationships. Simply put, the things one possesses are no longer meeting their needs to quench the desires of their flesh. 

Now, before I go any further, I am not condemning the purchase of new clothes, cars, or houses — I am simply stating a fact clearly spoken of in Ecclesiastes 6:9.  Solomon made the point; it is better to look upon what you have with contentment than to wander about in fantasy and desire of things you don’t have.  He found through experience, to do this was a waste of time and damaging.  He describes it as being “Vanity and grasping for the wind”(Eccl. 6:9). 

This word, “Vanity” used in modern English, refers to arrogance or false pride — it has overtones meaning, “lacking in value.”  But the foundational sense of the word as used in biblical texts is tied to the concept of brevity. For example, treasures gained by deceit are vanity — they are but a vapor, which quickly vanishes. So when we continue to look upon those things we don’t possess, hoping they will bring lasting fulfillment, it is meaningless and it will only be temporary at best. 

It is the temptation and deception from Satan to think, “If I only had this, or that, I would be happy, or safe, etc., etc…” Not only is this a lie, but also the tradeoff is not worth the price being paid.  And it could be very devastating in the long run depending on what it is we are lusting after and what price we paid to obtain it. We can look to an example of buying something on credit and having a financial burden for years, or it can be the choice to sin by leaving a spouse for a new relationship, resulting in more sin and devastated lives.  

For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16:26 (NKJV)

So, how can we guard ourselves against the temptation to put our eyes on the things of this world to bring us fulfillment?  By keeping our eyes on God and focusing on what we have already been given, both physically and spiritually.  And by screening every thought to see if it is in alignment with God’s Word, and His desires for our life (See 2 Cor 10:5).

Listen to what Solomon said at the finish of Ecclesiastes.  Solomon had been given unparalleled wisdom but chose to go out and test everything his flesh desired.  When he was finished, he determined everything he chased after to fulfill the desires of his flesh was meaningless.  He finished his writing by stating what must be done in our life for us to have true fulfillment and purpose.

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all. Ecclesiastes 12:13 (NKJV)

May we heed King Solomon’s wisdom today, as we choose to have a greater respect for our Lord by abiding in His will (John 15:1-11). 

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn from the Scriptures contained within this devotional about pursuing temporal pleasures to fulfill the desires of our flesh?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you looking to Jesus to meet EVERY need you have, or are you looking to something else?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Choose to put your eyes back on Jesus and don’t take them off. Choose to be content in Him alone, and be filled with the joy of our salvation. 

PRAYER FOR TODAY: Father, thank You for meeting my needs abundantly.  Let me see the things of this world for what they are Lord, and in the way You see them.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen.


Be Blessed, Pastor Scott






Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000