'Futile' in the Bible
You must not turn aside, for then you would go after futile things which can not profit or deliver, because they are futile.
They rejected His statutes and His covenant which He made with their fathers, as well as His warnings that he gave them. And they followed vanity [that is, false gods, idols] and became vain (empty-headed). They followed the [pagan practices of the] nations which surrounded them, although the Lord had commanded that they were not to do as they did.
So am I allotted months of futility and suffering,And [long] nights of trouble and misery are appointed to me.
whose trust is in something futile, whose security is a spider's web.
“Is there no end to [your futile] words of wind?Or what plagues you [so much] that you [so boldly] answer [me like this]?
So how can you offer me such futile comfort?Your answers are deceptive.
Give us help against the enemy, for any help men might offer is futile.
The LORD knows the thoughts of human beings that they are futile.
Give us help against the enemy, for any help men might offer is futile.
Surely it is futile to spread a net in plain sight of any bird,
“Absolute futility,” says the Teacher.“Absolute futility. Everything is futile.”
I have seen all the things that are done under the sun and have found everything to be futile, a pursuit of the wind.
I said to myself, “Go ahead, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy what is good.” But it turned out to be futile.
When I considered all that I had accomplished and what I had labored to achieve, I found everything to be futile and a pursuit of the wind. There was nothing to be gained under the sun.
So I said to myself, “What happens to the fool will also happen to me. Why then have I been overly wise?” And I said to myself that this is also futile.
Therefore, I hated life because the work that was done under the sun was distressing to me. For everything is futile and a pursuit of the wind.
And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will take over all my work that I labored at skillfully under the sun. This too is futile.
When there is a man whose work was done with wisdom, knowledge, and skill, and he must give his portion to a man who has not worked for it, this too is futile and a great wrong.
For all his days are filled with grief, and his occupation is sorrowful; even at night, his mind does not rest. This too is futile.
For to the man who is pleasing in His sight, He gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy, but to the sinner He gives the task of gathering and accumulating in order to give to the one who is pleasing in God’s sight. This too is futile and a pursuit of the wind.
For the fate of people and the fate of animals is the same. As one dies, so dies the other; they all have the same breath. People have no advantage over animals since everything is futile.
I saw that all labor and all skillful work is due to a man’s jealousy of his friend. This too is futile and a pursuit of the wind.
So I again considered another futile thing on earth:
There is a person without a companion, without even a son or brother, and though there is no end to all his struggles, his eyes are still not content with riches. “So who am I struggling for,” he asks, “and depriving myself from good?” This too is futile and a miserable task.
There is no limit to all the people who were before them, yet those who come later will not rejoice in him. This too is futile and a pursuit of the wind.
The one who loves money is never satisfied with money, and whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with income. This too is futile.
God gives a man riches, wealth, and honor so that he lacks nothing of all he desires for himself, but God does not allow him to enjoy them. Instead, a stranger will enjoy them. This is futile and a sickening tragedy.
Better what the eyes see than wandering desire. This too is futile and a pursuit of the wind.
For who knows what is good for man in life, in the few days of his futile life that he spends like a shadow? Who can tell man what will happen after him under the sun?
for like the crackling of burning thorns under the pot,so is the laughter of the fool.This too is futile.
In my futile life I have seen everything: there is a righteous man who perishes in spite of his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who lives long in spite of his evil.
In such circumstances, I saw the wicked buried. They came and went from the holy place, and they were praised in the city where they did so. This too is futile.
There is a futility that is done on the earth: there are righteous people who get what the actions of the wicked deserve, and there are wicked people who get what the actions of the righteous deserve. I say that this too is futile.
Indeed, if a man lives many years,let him rejoice in them all,and let him remember the days of darkness, since they will be many.All that comes is futile.
“Absolute futility,” says the Teacher. “Everything is futile.”
Those who fashion a graven image are all of them futile, and their precious things are of no profit; even their own witnesses fail to see or know, so that they will be put to shame.
For the customs and decrees of the peoples are [mere] delusion [exercises in futility];It is only wood which one cuts from the forest [to make a god],The work of the hands of the craftsman with the axe or cutting tool.
I know his gall," declares the LORD, "and it's futile; the boasting that they do is futile.
The Lord God has sworn [an oath] by Himself—the Lord God of hosts, says:“I loathe and reject the [self-centered] arrogance of Jacob (Israel),And I hate his palaces and citadels;Therefore, I shall hand over the [idolatrous] city [of Samaria] with all that it contains [to the Assyrian invaders].”
“Oh, that there were even one among you [whose duty it is to minister to Me] who would shut the gates, so that you would not kindle fire on My altar uselessly [with an empty, worthless pretense]! I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord of hosts, “nor will I accept an offering from your hand.
You said, "It is futile to serve God,' and, "What did we get out of it when we carried out his requirements and went about like mourners in the presence of the LORD of the Heavenly Armies?'
Then the Pharisees [argued and] said to one another, “You see that your efforts are futile. Look! The whole world has gone [running] after Him!”
You said through the Holy Spirit, by the mouth of our father David Your servant:Why did the Gentiles rageand the peoples plot futile things?
For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
If those who are [followers] of the Law are [the true] heirs [of Abraham], then faith [leading to salvation] is of no effect and void, and the promise [of God] is nullified.
and again, The Lord knows that the reasonings of the wise are meaningless.
But by the grace of God I am what I am. His grace which was bestowed on me was not futile, but I worked more than all of them; yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is futile and your faith is empty.
and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless and powerless [mere delusion]; you are still in your sins [and under the control and penalty of sin].
Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord [always doing your best and doing more than is needed], being continually aware that your labor [even to the point of exhaustion] in the Lord is not futile nor wasted [it is never without purpose].
But avoid foolish and ill-informed and stupid controversies and genealogies and dissensions and quarrels about the Law, for they are unprofitable and useless.
If someone thinks he is religious yet does not bridle his tongue, and so deceives his heart, his religion is futile.
knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,