“As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.” (Ecclesiastes 11:5 NIV)
Every time I come to Ecclesiastes in my daily Bible reading, I am struck by its often depressing and fatalistic tone. God gave Solomon great wisdom with which he identified and recorded truths and insights about human nature and the world in which we we live that were far beyond people’s understanding at that time.
Since Solomon’s day, scientists and philosophers have discovered and continue to unveil many additional wonderfully complex truths about God’s creation and the ways of man. That reality was fully on display last year when a vaccine was developed in record time to attack an unprecedented pandemic that has uprooted our world and changed our lives in ways unimaginable at the start of 2020.
But we will never fully comprehend the work of God. Attempts to do so are destined for frustration. To accept that reality and trust those unknowable mysteries of life to an infinitely wise, loving, and sovereign God leads to a peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:17) – a peace that Solomon unfortunately had difficulty finding in his later years when he wrote Ecclesiastes. In 11:8 he writes, “However many years anyone may live, let them enjoy them all. But let them remember the days of darkness, for there will be many. Everything to come is meaningless.”
How grateful I am to know that everything to come is far from meaningless. In truth, it is “an eternal glory that far outweighs” any tribulations and uncertainties we will ever encounter in this life. (2 Corinthians 4:17)
“Whatever may be the mysteries of life and death, there is one mystery which the cross of Christ reveals to us, and that is the infinite and absolute goodness of God. Let all the rest remain a mystery so long as the mystery of the cross of Christ gives us faith for all the rest.” – Charles Kingsley