He hath made every thingbeautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.
As the snow and the temperatures begin to fall here in Northeast Tennessee, I have concluded that “bad golf” is certainly better than no golf at all.
The writer of Ecclesiastes is accepted to be David’s son Solomon. “The preacher” did not give a great discourse about salvation or Jesus. Instead, he focused on the goodness of God and the fact that belief is better than the alternative. Atheists, agnostics and the believer can all agree that “everything has its season” and accordingly “everything under the sun has a beginning and an end.”
Solomon spoke about God, but “Lord” is never mentioned in the book of Ecclesiastes. As Maclaren wrote, he had no revelation and is “fighting the problem of life, its meaning and worth, without any help from Law, or Prophet, or Psalm.” Like most of us, Solomon realized the existence of a feeling of despair in this life.
In considering the depths of Ecclesiastes, the commentator Wright wrote, “Ecclesiastes does not pretend to preach the Gospel. Rather, it encourages the reader to a God-centered worldview rather than falling victim to frustrations and unanswered questions.” Even though the book doesn’t per se preach the gospel, the message is evident.
I was talking with my pastor friend about the book and he paralleled Ecclesiastes with the book of Jeremiah. Jeremiah was a great prophet, but his messages didn’t result in a great number of converts. We sometimes get too “result focused” and find ourselves disappointed. If our church does not grow in number, it must be a pastor problem. In the alternative, if the church is growing it may not be due to a “superstar preacher.”
We like improvement in our golf game to be reflected in the form of good scores. When the 70’s are not posted, we get disappointed because of our perspective of improvement. Many times we try to compare our “growth” to other believers. Other times, we feel the growth is not happening quick enough. As Solomon wrote in Eccelesiastes, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” We need to realize our time is on God’s time and our growth is not to be judged by those around us. Worldly measuring sticks lead to despair and disappointment.
Just like “grinding” is important during the course of a golf round, the believer is to work and “grind until the end.” He gives us that strength and guidance by His word, His Spirit and by the fellow believers in our life. Solomon reminded us that, “In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few.” Our God needs a few grinders who continue and persist until the end!