The factor bigger than rain clouds and hurricanes

Ecclesiastes 11Some of the most successful businesses today were launched during hard economic times. They are proof that favorable circumstances don’t determine success.

Things can go very right when everything looks bleak.

That seems to be the theme of Ecclesiastes 11:1-6.

Most everything Solomon says in the book has to be tested by revealed truth elsewhere in Scripture, because he looks at life “under the sun,” or without the divine perspective. But near the end, he gets it right.

The passage appears to be in a chiastic form with three elements. The outer pair of ideas (verses 1-2, 6) encourages action, amazingly enough, because of what we don’t know!

The inner pair (verses 3, 5) of affirmations mentions the Great Unknowns, perhaps our very reason to take action.

Then verse 4 brings the central piece of the paragraph: If you live by the bad that might happen, you’ll never do anything, and nothing good will happen that ought to happen.

Isn’t this a tremendous lesson for Christians and congregations who live to do the work of God?

Times appear bleak, results seem nil, the temptation is to draw back and wait for better days.

Nuts! says the Lord (my translation).

Now is the time to get out there and sow the message of salvation in Christ, more than ever before.

Man is a lousy forecaster. Human eyes can’t take in all the factors. The human brain doesn’t have enough computing power, nor do his computers have enough data, to accurately tell the future.

Only God knows — and determines — the future.

And that is why we should work. Hard. Long. Untiringly. Because God is in it.

 

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J. Randal Matheny

Servant of the Lord at GoSpeak
Randal and his wife have lived and worked in Brazil since 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren. Randal's a lefty, a chocolate lover, an author and a poet. His microblog is randal.us.

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