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77 Bible Verses about Futility
Most Relevant Verses
My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle and they come to an end without hope. Remember that my life is but a breath, that my eyes will never again see happiness.
"Man, born of woman, lives but a few days, and they are full of trouble. He grows up like a flower and then withers away; he flees like a shadow, and does not remain.
"O Lord, help me understand my mortality and the brevity of life! Let me realize how quickly my life will pass! Look, you make my days short-lived, and my life span is nothing from your perspective. Surely all people, even those who seem secure, are nothing but vapor.
A voice says, "Cry out!" Another asks, "What should I cry out?" The first voice responds: "All people are like grass, and all their promises are like the flowers in the field. The grass dries up, the flowers wither, when the wind sent by the Lord blows on them. Surely humanity is like grass.
You do not know about tomorrow. What is your life like? For you are a puff of smoke that appears for a short time and then vanishes.
A person's life is like grass. Like a flower in the field it flourishes, but when the hot wind blows by, it disappears, and one can no longer even spot the place where it once grew.
Surely people go through life as mere ghosts. Surely they accumulate worthless wealth without knowing who will eventually haul it away."
It is vain for you to rise early, come home late, and work so hard for your food. Yes, he can provide for those whom he loves even when they sleep.
For the sun rises with its heat and dries up the meadow; the petal of the flower falls off and its beauty is lost forever. So also the rich person in the midst of his pursuits will wither away.
For the wisdom of this age is foolishness with God. As it is written, "He catches the wise in their craftiness." And again, "The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile."
For although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or give him thanks, but they became futile in their thoughts and their senseless hearts were darkened.
So I say this, and insist in the Lord, that you no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding, being alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardness of their hearts.
I have heard how proud the people of Moab are, I know how haughty they are. I have heard how arrogant, proud, and haughty they are, what a high opinion they have of themselves. I, the Lord, affirm that I know how arrogant they are. But their pride is ill-founded. Their boastings will prove to be false.
He has demonstrated power with his arm; he has scattered those whose pride wells up from the sheer arrogance of their hearts. He has brought down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up those of lowly position;
The Lord says, "I will put a curse on people who trust in mere human beings, who depend on mere flesh and blood for their strength, and whose hearts have turned away from the Lord.
Do not trust in princes, or in human beings, who cannot deliver! Their life's breath departs, they return to the ground; on that day their plans die.
Stop trusting in human beings, whose life's breath is in their nostrils. For why should they be given special consideration?
"The rebellious children are as good as dead," says the Lord, "those who make plans without consulting me, who form alliances without consulting my Spirit, and thereby compound their sin. They travel down to Egypt without seeking my will, seeking Pharaoh's protection, and looking for safety in Egypt's protective shade. But Pharaoh's protection will bring you nothing but shame, and the safety of Egypt's protective shade nothing but humiliation.read more.
Though his officials are in Zoan and his messengers arrive at Hanes, all will be put to shame because of a nation that cannot help them, who cannot give them aid or help, but only shame and disgrace."
Those who go down to Egypt for help are as good as dead, those who rely on war horses, and trust in Egypt's many chariots and in their many, many horsemen. But they do not rely on the Holy One of Israel and do not seek help from the Lord. Yet he too is wise and he will bring disaster; he does not retract his decree. He will attack the wicked nation, and the nation that helps those who commit sin. The Egyptians are mere humans, not God; their horses are made of flesh, not spirit. The Lord will strike with his hand; the one who helps will stumble and the one being helped will fall. Together they will perish.
They rejected his rules, the covenant he had made with their ancestors, and the laws he had commanded them to obey. They paid allegiance to worthless idols, and so became worthless to the Lord. They copied the practices of the surrounding nations in blatant disregard of the Lord's command.
This is what the Lord says: "What fault could your ancestors have possibly found in me that they strayed so far from me? They paid allegiance to worthless idols, and so became worthless to me.
Then I said, "Lord, you give me strength and protect me. You are the one I can run to for safety when I am in trouble. Nations from all over the earth will come to you and say, 'Our ancestors had nothing but false gods -- worthless idols that could not help them at all.
They will say to you, "Seek oracles at the pits used to conjure up underworld spirits, from the magicians who chirp and mutter incantations. Should people not seek oracles from their gods, by asking the dead about the destiny of the living?" Then you must recall the Lord's instructions and the prophetic testimony of what would happen. Certainly they say such things because their minds are spiritually darkened. They will pass through the land destitute and starving. Their hunger will make them angry, and they will curse their king and their God as they look upward.read more.
When one looks out over the land, he sees distress and darkness, gloom and anxiety, darkness and people forced from the land.
They see delusion and their omens are a lie. They say, "the Lord declares," though the Lord has not sent them; yet they expect their word to be confirmed. Have you not seen a false vision and announced a lying omen when you say, "the Lord declares," although I myself never spoke? "'Therefore, this is what the sovereign Lord says: Because you have spoken false words and forecast delusion, look, I am against you, declares the sovereign Lord.read more.
My hand will be against the prophets who see delusion and announce lying omens. They will not be included in the council of my people, nor be written in the registry of the house of Israel, nor enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the sovereign Lord.
For the household gods have spoken wickedness, the soothsayers have seen a lie, and as for the dreamers, they have disclosed emptiness and give comfort in vain. Therefore the people set out like sheep and become scattered because they have no shepherd.
Such idols are like scarecrows in a cucumber field. They cannot talk. They must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not be afraid of them because they cannot hurt you. And they do not have any power to help you."
For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men joined him. He was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and nothing came of it. After him Judas the Galilean arose in the days of the census, and incited people to follow him in revolt. He too was killed, and all who followed him were scattered. So in this case I say to you, stay away from these men and leave them alone, because if this plan or this undertaking originates with people, it will come to nothing,
If you have died with Christ to the elemental spirits of the world, why do you submit to them as though you lived in the world? "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!" These are all destined to perish with use, founded as they are on human commands and teachings.read more.
Even though they have the appearance of wisdom with their self-imposed worship and false humility achieved by an unsparing treatment of the body -- a wisdom with no true value -- they in reality result in fleshly indulgence.
Do not bring any more meaningless offerings; I consider your incense detestable! You observe new moon festivals, Sabbaths, and convocations, but I cannot tolerate sin-stained celebrations!
This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me, and they worship me in vain, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'"
He said to them, "Isaiah prophesied correctly about you hypocrites, as it is written: 'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. They worship me in vain, teaching as doctrine the commandments of men.'
So, brothers and sisters, I could not speak to you as spiritual people, but instead as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready. In fact, you are still not ready, for you are still influenced by the flesh. For since there is still jealousy and dissension among you, are you not influenced by the flesh and behaving like unregenerate people?
If someone thinks he is religious yet does not bridle his tongue, and so deceives his heart, his religion is futile.
But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, quarrels, and fights about the law, because they are useless and empty.
(Nun) Your prophets saw visions for you that were worthless lies. They failed to expose your sin so as to restore your fortunes. They saw oracles for you that were worthless lies.
Let nobody deceive you with empty words, for because of these things God's wrath comes on the sons of disobedience.
Let no one who delights in humility and the worship of angels pass judgment on you. That person goes on at great lengths about what he has supposedly seen, but he is puffed up with empty notions by his fleshly mind.
Remind people of these things and solemnly charge them before the Lord not to wrangle over words. This is of no benefit; it just brings ruin on those who listen.
For by speaking high-sounding but empty words they are able to entice, with fleshly desires and with debauchery, people who have just escaped from those who reside in error.
"I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me -- and I in him -- bears much fruit, because apart from me you can accomplish nothing.
If anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, each builder's work will be plainly seen, for the Day will make it clear, because it will be revealed by fire. And the fire will test what kind of work each has done. If what someone has built survives, he will receive a reward.read more.
If someone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss. He himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
For we had good news proclaimed to us just as they did. But the message they heard did them no good, since they did not join in with those who heard it in faith.
Everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the flood came, and the winds beat against that house, and it collapsed; it was utterly destroyed!"
When anyone hears the word about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches what was sown in his heart; this is the seed sown along the path. The seed sown on rocky ground is the person who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy. But he has no root in himself and does not endure; when trouble or persecution comes because of the word, immediately he falls away.read more.
The seed sown among thorns is the person who hears the word, but worldly cares and the seductiveness of wealth choke the word, so it produces nothing.
But be sure you live out the message and do not merely listen to it and so deceive yourselves. For if someone merely listens to the message and does not live it out, he is like someone who gazes at his own face in a mirror. For he gazes at himself and then goes out and immediately forgets what sort of person he was.
These wicked people refuse to obey what I have said. They follow the stubborn inclinations of their own hearts and pay allegiance to other gods by worshiping and serving them. So they will become just like these linen shorts which are good for nothing.
When a wicked person dies, his expectation perishes, and the hope of his strength perishes.
This is what the Lord who rules over all says, "Babylon's thick wall will be completely demolished. Her high gates will be set on fire. The peoples strive for what does not satisfy. The nations grow weary trying to get what will be destroyed."
Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
But I thought, "I have worked in vain; I have expended my energy for absolutely nothing." But the Lord will vindicate me; my God will reward me.
You know that from your empty way of life inherited from your ancestors you were ransomed -- not by perishable things like silver or gold,
So if someone cleanses himself of such behavior, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart, useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.
Topics on Futility
For we have brought nothing into this world and so we cannot take a single thing out either.