“I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all” (Ecclesiastes 9:11).TEXT — Ecclesiastes 9:1-12
No mortal has had death ultimately waived for him because of his human wisdom, skill, prosperity or greatness. Despite their celebrity status and possessions, they must sooner or later, pass on. Nor has any been spared this common destiny on account of their penurious condition.
This is not blind fatalism, from the perspectives of the word of God. Rather, it is the dominant plan of the Lord at work in the lives of men and women. When Solomon said, “time and chance happeneth to them all” (both the ‘smart’ and the ‘not so smart’), he was simply saying that God is the One behind the “time and chance”. Man overlooks this factor and overly concentrates on his prowess to make the clock of life tick or stop, according to his whims and caprices. Yet, “the race is not for the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill…”
This summation by the wise preacher captures all the endeavours and activities of man under the sun. And though these legitimate enterprises appear to be a foolproof package for survival, the inspired son of David concludes that “the sons of men (are still) snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.” This is the tragedy of mankind’s engagement with life. Man is burdened with fighting for physical things, without due consideration for “time and chance,” spiritually interpreted as God’s flawless interventions.
Being guided by God’s ways means we must live righteously (putting on “white garments”), with our head not lacking “ointment” (grace). Thus kitted, we are prepared for any eventuality at any point while serving Him.
Thought for the day
When death arrests, there is no resistance, respect or respite.
- in one year
- MATTHEW 27-28 (Read By Alexander Scourby)