Saturday, February 25, 2012

However Uncertain Life May Be...

Today's English Version, Ecclesiastes 8:6 reads,

"There is a right time and a right way to do everything,
but
we know so little?"

This is what I am thinking as I read this verse.

We may do the right thing at the right time but in either case we are unsure that, considering the circumstances, we are actually doing what is proper and at the proper time.  However, even if we were sure that what we are doing is right and at the proper moment, we cannot be certain of the outcome.  We cannot manipulate things to obtain the results that our actions work towards; that is, we can never be sure that what we have done and the timing it is done in will achieve the desired results.

Life is not a dumpster that conveniently appears besides us as we walk on the "the road less traveled" so that we may throw out the garbage we find whenever and wherever we come across it.  Life does not bend the winds of good fortune our way simply because we set our sails to meet it.

We experience disappointment when we think that if we do so-and-so then this-and-that will  certainly occur.  We mistake the title of the Bible to read The Law of Results, rather than The Word of God; I do so-and-so and God responds in this-and-that way.

We confuse God for the law of gravity.

Jump off a 500 foot cliff and it is certain you will fall and certain, once you hit the ground, you will die.  Try it and let me know if I am mistaken.

Nature does not take into consideration rational moral beings.  Nature sees all as inanimate objects and follows rules that require no forethought or morality.  Standing at the edge of a cliff, you are a person whom God endowed with powers of mind, will, and emotion, a being created in God's image with passions and ideas, joys and sorrows, achievements and hopes, a king by God's Sovereign design predestined to rule over all Creation as God's gift to Nature.  However, once you jump off the cliff, Nature does not distinguish between you and a falling rock; to Nature, you are a rock.  Once you jump off, Nature rules, not you; therefore, you fall.

Pulpit Cliff, Norway
"And a rock feels no pain."

Yet, in everything we do, to do what is morally right and to do it all at the most propitious time regardless of the consequences, is our obligation before God.  If what we have done at the time we have done it proves to our advantage, all well and good; but if it brings us trouble or increases the difficulties we already face...well, nothing is absolutely certain.  Following God can be to our present advantage or disadvantage.

However, we are not to concern ourselves so much with the results as with our obedience to God (Romans 8:18).  God will not judge us solely by the results, which follow our actions, but moreso by our actions and foremost by the motives that inspired those actions.  Whether we obeyed or disobeyed, results notwithstanding, is the essence of the divine judgment: "According to their deeds, so he will repay" (Isaiah 59:18; cp. Matthew 16:27).

In conclusion, although you may not be certain of achieving all that for which you acted in such and such a way, be certain that you are obeying God irrespective of the consequences that follow...

"Because God will certainly bring every act to judgment, everthing which is hidden, whether it is good or evil."  -- Ecclesiates 12:14