Ecclesiastes 9:15 NIV- Now there lived in that city a man poor but wise, and he saved the city by his wisdom. But nobody remembered that poor man.
The book of Ecclesiastes has many thought-provoking verses: “Is there anything of which one can say, ‘Look! This is something new?’ ” (1:10 NIV); “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” (3:1 NIV); and Remember your Creator in the days of your youth” (12:1 NIV); but one of the most remarkable is the story in Ecclesiastes 9:15 about the heroic poor man whose name is no longer known.
Seventy-five years ago the media was slower and the news cycle longer. An unusual event that caught the attention of the public was known as a seven-day wonder. Later, a person caught up in a news event was said to have fifteen minutes of fame. Today, an Internet story can go viral and become an immediate sensation. A person can be thrust from obscurity to overnight celebrity in a few hours.
Yet, fame is fleeting. A little boy lost, an extraordinary rescue, a heroic act-all fade from the public memory with knife-edge swiftness. That’s what happened to the poor but wise man. His story is Solomon’s way of explaining that activities under the sun (earthly life) can be deceptive and fleeting. The events with eternal importance are those we do for God.