He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover, he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live; moreover, it is God’s gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in their toil. I know that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it; God has done this, so that all should stand in awe before him.
The New York Times reported that visitors to New York’s Hayden Planetarium complained that exhibits were too difficult to understand. People expressed disappointment that models of current astrophysical data, along with the history of the universe, were far too complex to grasp. I had to smile when reading that the planetarium’s tour of galaxies, star clusters and planets left people scratching their heads. But if the observable universe is beyond understanding, what about the universe’s Creator!
The Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes is one of my favorite books in the Bible as it worships our God who is beyond understanding. In this mystifying book the author Solomon writes of his awe of God as beyond human understanding, such that we “cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” God is simply too wondrous and mysterious for us to take in! But Solomon does assure that in the midst of life’s mystery and complexity “God has made everything suitable for its time.” One day we will see that God makes everything fit with His wise and loving plan for us. Everything is made suitable for its time!
In his commentary on Ecclesiastes H. C. Leupold observes, “A harmony of purpose and beneficial supremacy of control pervade all issues of life to such an extent that they rightly challenge our admiration.” (H. C. Leupold, Exposition of Ecclesiastes). “God has done this,” Solomon assures, “so that all should stand in awe before him.”
In the midst of life’s many mysteries and things we do not know, Solomon tells us something we can know: “I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live.” Solomon is so impressed by how God makes “everything suitable for its time” that he makes daily happiness and enjoyment a key theme of this book (2:24-26; 3:22; 5:18-20; 7:14; 9:7-10; 10:18-19; 11:8-9).
Yes, we do live in difficult times that might often trouble and bewilder us, but today God wants us to make the decision to be happy and to rejoice. Or, as the apostle Paul says it: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). God does have everything in hand!
A fellow traveler,