Ecclesiastes 7:13-14: God is in Control

Read: Ecclesiastes 7:13-14

If there was money to be made one way or another, telling the future and being correct about it would certainly be a lucrative business, but the future is simply unknowable. The Preacher had already given a staunch warning about ruminating on the past (Ecclesiastes 7:10), and here he seems to give the reverse of that concerning the future. The comes to this conclusion by considering the ways of God. He questions who can straighten or make crooked the ways of God. The obvious answer is no one can. Only God fully knows what God does, and man, despite all his efforts, cannot thwart the ways of God. For this reason, the Preacher says that people should rejoice in the good times, but when the bad time come one should consider that God is in control and no one can know the future.

Job experienced this first hand in his life. He had it all, and then in a brief moment all that he had was taken from him. In response to this, Job says:

Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked shall I return.
The Lord gave,
And the Lord has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the Lord (Job 1:21).

His wife however saw what had happened and encouraged him to curse God and die, but he makes one another profound statements concerning how God works, “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:9-10) Job praised God in the good times and bad times and in all this Job did not sin (Job 1:22, Job  2:10). At the end of the book after Job has discussed the matter with his friends and presented his case to God. God replies to Job using nature to show the majesty and grandeur of God, and to this, Job admits that he does not and cannot fully understand the ways God (Job 42:1-6).

Like ruminating on the past, trying to predict the future is foolish to. That which is known about the future is simply that which revealed by God, and God has revealed some things that will happen, but the date and time are not known (Matthew 24:36). If the date and time were known, people would probably obsess over the matter and forget to keep the most important matters in the forefront. Rather than speculate and ruminate over such things, it is best to focus on the here and now and live out one’s life and praising God in the good times and the bad times.

Lord, you are in control. Help me to accept that fact no matter what happens!

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