No Guarantees

 

As much as we wish we knew the future in detail and as much as we wish we could control the events in our lives it just isn’t possible. For all of our efforts and prayers there is still the reality of unintended consequences. The Bible tells us this in Ecclesiastes 9:11 & 12. I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. {12} Moreover, no man knows when his hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so men are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them. King Solomon is the author and he wrote an entire book with one purpose, to explain the entire purpose of life in the light of uncertainty and unfairness. Today I want to share my highlighted verses from that book with you. Rather than me commenting on each verse I challenge you to comment on each verse as you read it! If a verse seems strange or even wrong, remember this: You are reading the Word of God. Study to show yourself approved. Figure it out. I have made some portions in a BOLD font. These are verses that had great meaning to me. Honestly I could have made them all bold. This is my favorite book and it was the book that hooked me. It answered all those questions young people have: Why do bad things happen to good people; what is the purpose of life; what is important and how should I live? You may find yourself thinking, “Yeah but…” that is a sign you need to, as I said before, figure it out.

Enjoy!

 

(Eccl 1:9 NIV)  What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.

(Eccl 1:12 NIV)  I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem.

(Eccl 1:18 NIV)  For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.

(Eccl 2:18 NIV)  I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me.

(Eccl 3:1 NIV)  There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:

(Eccl 3:8 NIV)  a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

(Eccl 3:11-13 NIV)  He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. {12} I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. {13} That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil--this is the gift of God.

(Eccl 3:18-19 NIV)  I also thought, "As for men, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. {19} Man's fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; man has no advantage over the animal. Everything is meaningless.

(Eccl 3:22 NIV)  So I saw that there is nothing better for a man than to enjoy his work, because that is his lot. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?

(Eccl 5:1 NIV)  Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.

(Eccl 5:10 NIV)  Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.

(Eccl 5:18-20 NIV)  Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him--for this is his lot. {19} Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work--this is a gift of God. {20} He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.

(Eccl 6:1-2 NIV)  I have seen another evil under the sun, and it weighs heavily on men: {2} God gives a man wealth, possessions and honor, so that he lacks nothing his heart desires, but God does not enable him to enjoy them, and a stranger enjoys them instead. This is meaningless, a grievous evil.

(Eccl 6:11-12 NIV)  The more the words, the less the meaning, and how does that profit anyone? {12} For who knows what is good for a man in life, during the few and meaningless days he passes through like a shadow? Who can tell him what will happen under the sun after he is gone?

(Eccl 7:1 NIV)  A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth.

(Eccl 7:9-10 NIV)  Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools. {10} Do not say, "Why were the old days better than these?" For it is not wise to ask such questions.

(Eccl 7:14 NIV)  When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future.

(Eccl 8:11-17 NIV)  When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, the hearts of the people are filled with schemes to do wrong. {12} Although a wicked man commits a hundred crimes and still lives a long time, I know that it will go better with God-fearing men, who are reverent before God. {13} Yet because the wicked do not fear God, it will not go well with them, and their days will not lengthen like a shadow. {14} There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth: righteous men who get what the wicked deserve, and wicked men who get what the righteous deserve. This too, I say, is meaningless. {15} So I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun. {16} When I applied my mind to know wisdom and to observe man's labor on earth--his eyes not seeing sleep day or night-- {17} then I saw all that God has done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all his efforts to search it out, man cannot discover its meaning. Even if a wise man claims he knows, he cannot really comprehend it.

(Eccl 9:9-12 NIV)  Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun-- all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun. {10} Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom. {11} I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. {12} Moreover, no man knows when his hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so men are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them.

(Eccl 10:19-20 NIV)  A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes life merry, but money is the answer for everything. {20} Do not revile the king even in your thoughts, or curse the rich in your bedroom, because a bird of the air may carry your words, and a bird on the wing may report what you say.

(Eccl 12:6-7 NIV)  Remember him--before the silver cord is severed, or the golden bowl is broken; before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, or the wheel broken at the well, {7} and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

(Eccl 12:10-14 NIV)  The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true. {11} The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails--given by one Shepherd. {12} Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them. Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body. {13} Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. {14} For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.