“I know that, whatsoever God does, it shall be forever; nothing can be put to it nor anything taken from it—and God does it, that men should fear before Him.”

Ecclesiastes 3:14

He’s at work, even when we can’t see Him/it; that’s why we must “live by faith” (Hab. 2:4) and “give thanks in all things” (I Thess. 5:18).

Solomon certainly wouldn’t have been in-demand on the “Positive Thinking” speech-giving circuit when he penned Ecclesiastes.  The book’s 12 chapters are quite dismal and despairing in tone, even though there are certain “gems of wisdom” (like today’s Manna) that cause us to pause and whisper, “Thank You, Lord.”

For many centuries learned men and women have debated Calvinism (everything is predetermined by God) versus Arminianism (it’s all about free-will).  And, even though advocates of each position will likely never come to the other’s side, the fact remains that today’s Manna strikes a healthy balance between the two. . .basically echoing Paul’s words in Rom. 8:28:  “All things work together for good to them that love the Lord, who are the called according to His purpose.”

Despite his growing despair and creeping cynicism, Solomon still had some remembrance of God’s role in the whole scheme of things (3:1-8; 5:1-2, 7-8, 18-20; 9:7-12; 12:1-14).  In some ways his words sound like passive resignation to his circumstances, tinged by a type of fatalism; however, they also ring of hope—especially when he says “I know that, whatsoever God does, it shall be forever” and “God does it, that men should fear before Him.

Oh, dear Pilgrim, aren’t those deep, eternal truths?

Assuredly they are.

Although God allows us the freedom to choose for or against Him. . .and even though “for a season” He allows sin and folly to flourish. . .ultimately He shall prevail according to His own perfect will.  Assuredly, we are “laborers together with God” here on this earth (I Cor. 3:9), who’ve been chosen by Him to further His Kingdom (Mt. 28:18-20).

But, let us never act like it’s all up to us.

Instead, let us “live justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God” (Micah 6:8).  Let us say to those around us “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh when you shall say ‘I have no pleasure in them’” (Eccl. 12:1).  And, let us live our lives as “living sacrifices, wholly and acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service/worship” (Rom. 12:1), reminding others to “Fear God and keep His commandments—for this is the whole duty of man” (Eccl. 12:13).

Aren’t you glad the Heavenly Father is faithful and His Promises are unchanging (Lam. 3:21-23; I Cor. 10:13; Heb. 6:17-20)?  Aren’t you glad “there’s a season to everything and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Eccl. 3:1; I Pet. 1:6-7)?  Aren’t you glad the Lord Jesus is patient and faithful, even when we’re not and isn’t finished with us yet (Rom. 8:28-39; Phil. 1:6; II Tim. 2:13; I Jn. 3:19-21)?  Stop even now and thank Him; then, remind others of that today.

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated July 17, 2009

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