Ecclesiastes 11:5-6 ESV
As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.
In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.
None of us has a complete understanding of God, of his sovereignty, and of the works of his hands. We don’t comprehend all that he has done or is doing in the world, and in our lives, and in the lives of others. Some things are just beyond our ability to grasp with our finite minds, such as the trinity, or the fact that God always existed.
We see what is before our eyes, so our vision is limited. We see our circumstances, and we see what is presented to us by various people. And, God may even give us much insight and understanding into those situations, too. But, we don’t see it all. We don’t comprehend it all. We don’t see all the many ways in which God is working through our trials and tribulations, for example, for his glory, and for his purposes in other people’s lives.
We also don’t see the many ways God is using us in other people’s lives. Maybe right now the fruit of our labors is hard to see. Maybe we are even facing a lot of rejection and persecution, and people coming against us. Maybe we have loved ones we have prayed for and we have loved with Christ’s love for many years, but it seems their hearts are still hardened to God and to his Word, or that they are still continuing in their evil ways.
And, so sometimes it can be disheartening, and we may wonder if we are making a difference, or where this is all going to end up. And, so the encouragement here is that we are not going to understand it all. We are not always going to see how God is working in and through our circumstances or what he is doing in other people’s lives who may, right now, be rejecting him and us, his servants.
We just have to keep obeying the Lord in doing what he has called us to do, and we need to leave the results in his hands, and in his perfect timing, too. This does not mean we give up or that we stop praying, but it means we trust God even when the road looks rough ahead, or even when what we are having to endure right now seems hopeless or without promise of resolution.
For, we don’t know the future, not all of it anyway. We don’t know how God is going to use our obedience. We don’t know what he is doing in other people’s hearts. So, we just need to keep trusting the Lord with our circumstances and with the people in our lives, and we have to just keep on keeping on in doing what he has called us to do in spreading the good news of the gospel of our salvation with as many as possible before Jesus returns.
Ecclesiastes 11:7-8 ESV
Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun.
So if a person lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember that the days of darkness will be many. All that comes is vanity.
Life on this earth can have its pleasures and its rewards. But, it is temporary. So, we should never live for just this life, for we must keep in mind that there will be a hereafter. And, for those who live only to please their flesh, and only for the rewards this world has to offer, the days of darkness will be many, i.e. they will be for eternity.
This is a solemn reminder that we are not put on this earth for ourselves and for our own pleasure, but we are placed here by God that we might worship him, give him honor and praise, and that our lives (how we live) might be for his glory.
And, for those who have professed faith in Jesus Christ, we must be reminded, too, that we can’t just live in the here and now, doing what we want, while we maybe give God some of our time and attention. We need to be surrendered to God, with our all on the altar of sacrifice laid. Jesus needs to be Lord (owner-master) of our lives, not a passing fancy.
For, if we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction (decay, death). But, if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life (Gal. 6:7-8; cf. Gal. 5:19-21; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
Ecclesiastes 11:9-10 ESV
Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.
Remove vexation from your heart, and put away pain from your body, for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.
Youth can be physical or it can have to do with naivety or childishness, immaturity, silliness, irresponsibility, and self-indulgence, etc. In this case, I believe it is the latter, for this appears to be said in a sarcastic tone or in irony. This is not said as a suggestion, but more like, “Go ahead and live however you want, but know that God is going to judge you for it all.”
For, there are many people who are aged, in their later years, who are still living childishly and who are following after their own hearts and with the judgment that comes from their own eyes, or from their own way of thinking. They are living irresponsibly, doing what their fleshly hearts lead them to do, and they are engaged in all sorts of immorality and idolatry and unfaithfulness and dishonesty, and the like. So, this is not an age thing.
And the thing of it is, many of these who are living irresponsibly and in self-indulgence are professing Christians, and many are even pastors and elders and deacons in the congregations of the saints of God. For, they have this false notion that they can be “saved” from their sins and still live in immorality, in practice, and still have heaven as their destiny, believing God will never judge them, for they believe they are now under grace.
Therefore, the counsel here is for all who are still living (in lifestyle, in practice) to please their flesh, and to do what their flesh desires, that they are to put away (to discard) all sensual lusts and all their evil deeds. For, they will profit them nothing. And, they will only end in destruction.
Yet, this is not just about the future. This is about the present. If we live for what is vanity, and for the pleasures of our sinful flesh, and if we follow after what our flesh desires, and not after God, we are destroying our own lives in the present. And, we are doing harm to all we are sinning against, too.
So, this isn’t about just being judged in the future, and about being condemned for eternity because we chose our flesh over God. But, this is about life right now and how we are living it in the present. And, it is about what we are doing to ourselves and to others, too.
For, if we live for ourselves in self-indulgence and for sensual pleasure, we aren’t hurting just us, but we are hurting our spouses, our children, our neighbors, our church family, and all who may become acquainted with us. And, we will hurt them because we chose our flesh over living for God and over showing genuine love to humanity.
So, if this is where you are today, living in sinful addiction, hurting yourself and others, I pray you will surrender your life to Jesus Christ today.
My Heart’s Desire
An Original Work / June 29, 2013
Based off Rm. 10; Lu. 9:23-26; Ep. 4:20-24
Loved Ones, Oh, my heart’s desire
Is that you might come to Jesus.
Many appear zealous for God,
But they do not trust in Him.
They have not submitted to the One
Who saved them from their sins;
Not forsaken their sins,
Nor have they obeyed their King.
The word of the Lord is near you:
The word of faith we’re proclaiming:
That you must confess your faith
In Jesus as your Lord and King:
Believe in Him as your Lord,
And follow Him where’er He leads.
Share the gospel; be a witness,
And meet others’ needs.
Beautiful are the feet of those
Who bring the good news of Jesus:
Anyone who would come to Him
Must deny himself today;
Die to sin and self, and
Let the Spirit transform you in heart;
Put on your new self in Jesus,
Yielding to the cross.
Wednesday, May 15, 2019