Thursday, July 12, 2012
THE VALUE OF DILIGENCE IN AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE AND PRESENT
Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days.
2 Give a serving to seven, and also to eight, For you do not know what evil will be on the earth.
3 If the clouds are full of rain, They empty themselves upon the earth; And if a tree falls to the south or the north, In the place where the tree falls, there it shall lie.
4 He who observes the wind will not sow, And he who regards the clouds will not reap.
5 As you do not know what is the way of the wind, Or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, So you do not know the works of God who makes everything.
6 In the morning sow your seed, And in the evening do not withhold your hand; For you do not know which will prosper, Either this or that, Or whether both alike will be good. (ECCLESIASTES 11:1-6).
[THE NKJV STUDY BIBLE Second Edition].
The Teacher is approaching the climax of his book. We must fulfill God's purposes by accepting our daily lot in life as from Him and by pleasing Him make each day a good day. This section gives further wise advice in the light of an uncertain future.
1-2 A common interpretation of this passage is that of charity. The Eastern flat bread is light enough to float, and what you give in charitable gifts will be washed back to you as a reward. But this idea of investment in charity does not belong to the Teacher's thought elsewhere. An alternative view links the meaning with vv.4, 6. "Nothing ventured, nothing gained," as a proverb says. Be like the merchant who uses his capital for trade, including trade across the seas. But be sensible, and do not gamble everything on one venture.
3-4 We are bound to recognize the God given laws of nature, but we cannot always forecast how they will operate. We often have to act before we can foresee all we would like to know about the future. The farmer who waits until he is completely certain of perfect weather conditions will never reap anything.
5 Life begins in mystery with the baby's conception and prenatal growth and continues with the mystery of the working of God's total plan. Few parents understand precisely how a baby is formed, but most follow the rules of common sense for the welfare of the mother and the unborn child. This is exactly whole theme of the book. We cannot understand all the ways God works to fulfill His plan, but we can follow God's rules for daily living and thus help bring God's purpose to birth.
6 Because the future is unknown, we must accept calculated risks and believe that though some of our ventures may fail, a sufficient number of them will succeed. The Teacher has been drawing his illustrations from trade and agriculture. They are intended to be practical. One thinks of making an unwise investment in a single project that promises large profits or of the restlessness that risks the family's welfare by moving to some distant field that looks greener.
[NIV BIBLE COMMENTARY Volume 1: Old Testament].
JESUS IS LORD.