Ecclesiastes: Living and Leaving – Trust in God

In Ecclesiastes 9:1-10, Solomon reminded us that there is one thing in life that will happen; we will all die. Solomon does not want us to be obsessed with death but rather aware of it. Because of death, everything in life matters. We have learned in Solomon’s journal that only when a person comes to grips with mortality can one really live. 

And really living…this means we must understand that life consists of many uncertainties. The fastest runner does not always win the race. 

Ecclesiastes 9:11-12
Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all. For man does not know his time. Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.

Solomon is so practical and relevant in these verses. The best team doesn’t always win. The strongest candidate doesn’t always get the job. The idea of the most intelligent person doesn’t always get the venture capitalists to invest. Some people don’t get what they deserve, and others get what they do deserve. Solomon says that “time and chance happen to them all.” Some things don’t quite add up because we live in a fallen world where personality trumps competency, attractiveness wins out over intellect, and you learn after the fact that the job you thought was yours went to the owner’s cousin. 

Life is uncertain. Life is like a fish minding its own business and suddenly being caught in a net or a bird looking for food and being caught in a snare. Life was going fine, and then you learned that cancer had invaded your body. The day was your best ever until the call about a friend’s unexpected death. We can go about our lives one day and the next day “snared at an evil time.” Part of living is living with uncertainty. 

And living with the unknown leads us back to God. In the middle of rough waters, he speaks peace. In times of storms, he is our refuge. In dark valleys, he is our Shepherd who leads us to safety. God can always be trusted in the uncertainties of living. And we can be sure that when we leave this life, he will deliver us safely home. 

Father, thank you for being a Father I can trust. You will give me everything I need to do what you are calling me to do. Thank you for your comfort and strength in my challenges. Thank you for never leaving me, never walking away from me. Thank you for always being by my side. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

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