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)
We do not know the path of the wind; we can only enjoy the cooling breezes. We know the biological science that forms a child within the womb, but cannot understand the divine role of the Holy Spirit in the process of conception and birth. So, if we are unable to fully understand things that are a daily part of our lives, how are we ever to understand the work of God? If God truly is the maker of all things, is there any limit to His power or His ability to create? How very insignificant this verse makes us feel when we become painfully aware of our own paltry understanding.
To understand this verse, it is interesting to learn a bit more about the author and the approximate date of the writing of Ecclesiastes. The autobiographical profile or the book’s writer unmistakable points to Solomon. Evidence abounds, such as: the titles fit Solomon, the author’s moral odyssey chronicles Solomon’s life and the role of the one who taught the people knowledge and wrote many proverbs corresponds to his accomplishments. All these features point to Solomon, the son of David, as the author.
Once Solomon is accepted as the author, the date and occasion become clear. Solomon was writing probably in his later years, no later than around 931 B.C., primarily to warn the young people of his kingdom, without omitting others. He warned then to avoid walking through life on the path of human wisdom; and he exhorted them to live by the revealed wisdom of God.
In our verse today, we are reminded that the world is full of things over which we have no control, including the purposes of God. There is no virtue in wishful wondering, but there is hope for those who get busy and do their work.
O gracious and loving Lord, help us to get busy and to do our work according to your holy will. May we accept that there is much we cannot understand and can only glory in the mystery of your divine ways. Lead us ever closer to God and away from skepticism as we walk our spiritual paths through life. We ask this in the name of Your son, out Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
References: The People’s New Testament Commentary by M. Eugene Boring and Fred B. Craddock and The MacArthur Bible Commentary by John MacArthur.
Columbia Prayer Chain: Thursday, November 1
In our prayers: Rachel and Randy Wurtzbaugh, Marcus Lattimore, Patty Peckham, Denise Byrd, Caralynn, Greg and Lisa Steele, Dean Timothy Jones, Linda Langford, Marty Fritz, Harriet Hancock, Tommy and Robby Palmer, Patty and Ted Mac Laughlin, Janet Long, Bobby Wilson, Debbie and Pat Barry, Betty Jo Sullivan, Mary Francis Harris, Patrick and Patricia Barry, Jordan Hill, Doris Clevenger, Charles Sigel, Joe Reno, Bob Davis, John Whatley, Nancy Zuckerman, Mack James, Charles Davis Sr., Elaine and Sharon, Bill Carter, Betty Peavy Frick, Joye Cantrell, Fred and Gail, Dale and Norma Sessions, Padge Arrington, Jerry Callahan, Norman Masters
In memoriam: Richard Allen, John Allen Conyers, Bobby Gene Jones, Kenneth A. Amick Jr., Staff Sgt. Hubert A. “Bubba” Jackson, Rachel Starks, William Pringle, Yvette Doreen Smith Roland, Thomas M. Welch, Louise White Sprott, Odis Delbert Whitaker, Victor B. John Jr., John “Johnny” Stanley
Our prayers are with: all who suffered loss from Hurricane Sandy, the elderly, the homeless, all currently fighting illness, all beloved pets, our president and congress, our police officers and firefighters, all who serve in the armed forces
Columbia Prayer Chain is open to all residents of greater Columbia who would like to share prayers and receive the prayers of others. Please leave your name in the comment box below or email me to join our Prayer Chain. It is updated daily.