God, what are you doing? What are you waiting for? Why won’t you bring justice today? What’s taking so long? Have you ever asked any of those questions, or maybe all those questions? Well, today, let’s consider how this life “under the sun” is a time to prove our true character.
I said in my heart with regard to the children of man that God is testing them that they may see that they themselves are but beasts.
Solomon reminds us that people are like beasts in that we all die, but we should distinguish ourselves from beasts in the lives and circumstances God gives us. The challenges of life are a proving ground for our character. When we live a life without God, we become like animals. The psalmist challenges us to “be not like a horse or mule, without understanding” (Psalm 32:9). Peter reminds us that whatever overcomes us “to that [we are] enslaved” (2 Pet. 2:19). But when we love God and follow him, our inner man is formed.
Life “under the sun” is an assessment to demonstrate our character. Philip Ryken says it this way:
[Life] is a test, not simply in the sense of something we pass or fail, but also in the sense of something that demonstrates our true character. One of life’s purposes is to examine and ultimately to reveal our true relationship to God. This test is not for God’s benefit, as if there were anything about us that he doesn’t know already, but for our benefit, so that we recognize our mortality. Will we learn to see ourselves as we really are? This is the search question that waiting for justice poses for every one of us.
Life “under the sun” won’t always make sense. But how will we respond? Will we continue to acknowledge God as sovereign over all? Will we continue to obey? For now, that is our test.
Father, help us pass the test you have given us. Amid our questions and confusion, help us stand firm in your character, knowing who you are so we know who we are. Help us remain obedient even when we feel like injustice is overwhelming us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.