David was a man after God's heart.  He was honest, strong, and talented, but most of all, he was faithful to the Lord he loved. He had a close relationship with his Lord, which the book of Psalms documents well. This closeness with the Heavenly Father gave him comfort in times of trouble and exceeding joy in times of triumph. In all things, David found ways to glorify God even within his laments. 
One would expect such faithfulness to translate well to his children. However, we find with Solomon that faith is not an inherited attribute.  God gave Solomon a great gift of wisdom that no man on Earth can ever match. Using this gift of understanding, Solomon wrote Proverbs which are still a fount of practical advice for the Christian. But, he eventually divorced this wisdom from the Lord. His physical lusts turned spiritual, which led to idols desecrating the temple of The Most Holy. Even the Lord's appearance to Solomon twice was not enough to make him a faithful servant.  Solomon did not have the heart of his father David, nor did he behave like his father David. 
In our conclusion of chapter 1, we will assess the opening message that Solomon has for the reader in comparison to his father, David, just as God compared Solomon to his father in the book of Kings.
Man Without God (vs. 3-4, 9-11)
What value is there in man's hard work? (vs. 3) What's the point of family legacy? Generation after generation comes and goes, and no one remembers the former. (vs. 4, 11) What is a man without God except for a creature that labors and reproduces? A creature that is at war with God?  God's commands to be fruitful and multiply and labor are cursed and meaningless for those who turn their back on heaven in their foolish pride. The job or the family doesn't matter because, without God, neither is eternal.  Fallen eyes only see the material world and are blind to the unlimited workings of God.  Solomon warns of the illusion of purpose and value to these common household idols. These idols promise much but lead to both physical and spiritual oblivion.
David writes in Psalm 128 that those who fear the Lord and walk according to His ways will enjoy the fruits of their labor, their wives will be bountiful, and children like olive plants around the table. These are blessings given by God to those who are faithful. Psalm 112 declares that those who live in righteousness, who guide their affairs with discretion, will be in everlasting remembrance, and their righteousness will endure forever. For those in Christ, we claim His perfect righteousness, which endures from everlasting to everlasting. 
Creation Without God (vs. 5-8)
Solomon writes that the sun rises and falls (vs.5), the winds come and go (vs. 6), the rivers make their way to the sea (vs. 7), and all of it continues unceasingly (vs. 8). Sinful man looks at the force of nature and trembles. It declares a God that he rejects.  Instead, man either makes nature his god or, trying to maintain his power, man attempts to subdue the cycles of nature which belong to God.  Perhaps even more maddening is that nature continues unhindered and unimpeded by man's efforts and will. It is indifferent to our fallen struggles. It obeys only the voice of God, which man rejects and despises. 
"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the Sky above proclaims His handiwork." Psalm 19 proclaims. David looks at nature and is comforted, for it declares the omnipresence of God. The heavens hung by God's fingers exemplify His power.  God's glory is like thunder; His voice is like the breaking of cedars and shakes the wilderness.  With His power, He gathers the sea as a heap.  Nature is dreadful because we are without excuse. It declares the glory of a sovereign God who brings the counsel of the nations to nothing.  For those in Christ, we find that our soul waits for the Lord as He is our help and our shield, and we rejoice in Him because we have trusted in His holy name. 
Wisdom Without God (vs. 12-18)
Solomon reiterates his position of authority (vs. 12) and describes how he uses it to search out all of the things under the sun (vs. 13). Recognizing the task given to all sons of man; he considers it to be a burden. He finds that wisdom reveals a cursed reality for those at odds with God. Man sees a proverbial hell of nonexistence and oblivion and drowns this knowledge in worldly pleasures. Existence establishes itself with perplexing circumstances, hard times, and reaching for the unattainable (vs. 14, 17, 18). With much knowledge comes much sorrow for the sinful man, Solomon states. How right he is. As man gains understanding, the plight of his future becomes more evident. Solomon sorrowfully warns all who will hear that they cannot change this reality alone (vs. 15).
In Psalm 14:1, David writes, "The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." No wisdom is separate from God – there is no room for compromise. Having lived in sin for many years, even with all his knowledge, Solomon would find himself titled a fool by his father.
Psalm 49 addresses many of Solomon's proclamations as God is praised. There is nothing to fear for those in God! Those who trust in their riches cannot redeem themselves or their brothers. They think their houses will last forever and their wealth will carry forward to generations, but such is the way of fools. Praise the Lord for your confidence in Him as he redeems our souls from the power of the grave.
Concluding our study of chapter 1, I want only one point to be understood – that our existence is vanity without God and Christ. It is doomed. There is no wisdom, meaning, value, understanding, or hope apart from God. The daily strivings of man will continue without ceasing until God ends time with His righteous judgment. Solomon's writings remind us of sinful man's folly and how he seeks to sit on the throne of his life, not understanding that his is a throne of matchsticks that shall hotly burn when he takes his last breath.
For those in Christ, rejoice in the freely given wisdom of God given to you through His Word and the Holy Spirit. Pray for more understanding, for there is no sorrow we shall find, only more reasons to worship and praise our Holy God. Enjoy the beauty of God's creation and be comforted. Be confident in the value of your life, as Christ bought it with His precious blood.
Dear reader, if you are apart from God and are at war with Him, take heed of Solomon's warnings. Your wisdom will lead to sorrow, your successes will be forgotten, generations will come and go, and you will dwell in oblivion. Seek God, oh man of vanity! Seek Him while he may still be found!
 1 Sam 13:14
 Ps. 42
 This is important for many of us to remember. We cannot believe in Christ without faith. Faith is not something we earn, inherit, or learn. Faith is given to us as a gift from God. We would do well to remember this with our children. Do not assume that your children will inherit your faith. Teach them in the ways of the Lord. Be sure to set an example of how a faithful Christian acts. Above all, pray for their souls daily. It is never too soon or too late to begin praying for them.
 1 Kin. 11:9
 1 Kin. 11:4
 1 Kin. 11:6
 Rom. 5:11
 Gen. 1:28, 9:1
 Gen. 2:15
 Ps. 127
 1 Sam. 16:7
 2 Cor. 5:21
 Romans 1:20
 Romans 1:23
 Job 38
 Matthew 8:26
 Ps. 8:3
 Ps. 29
 Ps. 33:6
 Ps. 33:10
 Ps. 33:20-21