The teacher/king, writing from his opulence,
Tells us nothing from this world is count as gain,
That every work that’s done is wasted transience,
That all things built in life are vain, vain, vain.
He did not in his wisdom understand
That all majestic palaces he would deign
To build were all doomed as houses built on sand--
They weren’t for God and therefore built in vain.
Abraham and Sarah packed in tent
All that they had and wandered barren plain,
They gave their best to visitors three who spent
The night—and so ‘twas not in vain.
Joseph from his prison cell would rise
To bless an ancient land with grain.
Though imprisoned once, the Pharaoh he’d advise
With God-sent vision, so ‘twas not in vain.
A lowly manger—such unlikely place
To find a Savior Who the world would reign
And from mankind the blight of sin erase
Through painful martyr’s death—‘twas not in vain.
Whether a palace, prison, manger, tent,--
If what ‘s done therein is done for human gain--
Built on sand, their gifts will soon be spent.
They’re not for God, so they are built in vain.
Faith borne in places graced by God’s design
The hand of the Lord will always sustain.
Eternally their fruit forever shines
What’s done for God will never be in vain.