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The Eternal Mystery

“What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end,” Ecclesiastes 3: 9-11 [a] Or also placed ignorance in the human heart, so that

After reading chapter 3 of Ecclesiastes, I was disheartened. What was Solomon saying about God? God sounded like he was toying with us, dangling our lives like a carrot in front of us so that we keep moving forward. I must admit I didn’t get it. So, I sought help from others who studied this passage. Skip Moen in Today’s Word,, explained it this way.

“’yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning to the end.’ Ecclesiastes 3:11

Will not find out – There is a road block on the purpose driven life. It’s called “Horizon”. You and I cannot see what God is doing behind the scenes of our lives. We cannot see how God is shaping history, maneuvering events and weaving relationships. We see only the human horizon and it is severely limited. Who could have predicted today’s state of mind prior to September 11th . . . or to any significant historical event? Man is not made to know the future. Solomon says that God hides His work in mystery on purpose.

Solomon uses lo-masah, a verb about finding, seeking and attaining. According to Solomon, the future is really impenetrable to human inquiry. His words stand in opposition to all our human efforts to discover what comes next.

Why does Solomon give us this somber news? Is he saying that God doesn’t want us to be curious about the future? No, Solomon has something else in mind. He is describing the deeply held belief of the Hebrew worldview. God is the only sovereign being in existence. Only God sees the whole picture. In other words, God is the Lord of time too.

If you really believed this were true, how would it change your behavior? Would you suddenly realize that the only sure way to know what to do next must come from submission to the Lord who knows the whole picture? Would you recognize that planning, projecting, prognosticating and all the other efforts to get a handle on tomorrow are under God’s control? Would you stop making decisions on the basis of guesses and start living on the basis of God’s certainty? Would you focus on alignment with the Father today and stop worrying about tomorrow?

If God were clever, He would engineer life so that it was filled with dependent relationships. He would make sure that I couldn’t make it on my own, even with sophisticated projections of coming events. And why would He do that? Because He would know that the very best thing for me would be utter reliance on Him. After all, He knows, doesn’t He?

So, do you think God is that clever or are you still relying on the weatherman?”

We are created to have fellowship with God. God is not cruel, but He is the creator, the potter. If I mold some clay into a coffee cup, I want it to do coffee cup things, not flower pot or cereal bowl things. As the potter and the organizer of the kitchen, things will go much better for all, if the coffee cup holds coffee and the cereal bowl holds cereal and the flower pot holds my flowers. It will also extend the life and go better for the creation if it does what it is created to do.

We need that submission and close fellowship with God to know what we are created to do and for him to pour into our lives the necessary events that help us learn to do what we are created to do. But he didn’t create us to be machines.

We are capable of thinking, desiring and loving. A coffee cup has no will. Therefore, it serves coldly, dispassionately – no life. God created us for a purpose and the main purpose is to love and trust our Creator. This loving relationship provides the passion and gives us life – full and rich.

God is not cold or cruel. He is wise. He created us for a purpose. By His wisdom and omnipotence, we are created. The chief among our human purposes is to love and trust God.

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Douglas Knight

I write about what I'm thinking or what I've imagined in an effort to regain that childhood imagination and marry with my many years of real experiences. I'm getting better at it the more I write.I am a published author of two romantic intrigue novels.My books can be found at or if you want a personalized copy, by emailing me at

2 replies

    1. In the future, it is possible that I may wish to quote your cite. Would you prefer to see the draft before I publish? Thanks for your cite, Hebrew Word Study.


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