“I returned and saw under the sun that … the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.” (Ecclesiastes 9:11)
Every life is different, but no one life is spared the heartache of sin, disappointment, or even the anticipation of death!
Events over the past number of months throughout the world in general, but specifically in our own country, in our own states, and sometimes even in our own communities are to say the least unsettling, confusing and downright scary!
It is in the recognition that we simply cannot and will not have control over things that happen in our lives, that peace and hope can be found. The illusion that our modern culture teaches is that we can control life by our choices … and the sad part of this erroneous posture is that many of our young people are accepting it!
The wise man in our text was teaching us that life is not in our control! We do have control over the individual choices we make … it’s called free will and it is a true blessing from our God … but it also carries with it accountability for the choices we make.
The fact is, things don’t always work out the way we think they should. Because God is in Heaven, everything down here on earth should be fine, but it isn’t! Sometimes evil wins … sometimes the good ones lose and the bad ones win! You see … as the wise man says, “… time and chance happen to us all.”
It is so difficult for us to get our hands around the bad and evil things that happen to the innocent, the young, the middle-aged, and even to the older one among us. It is hard to reason when violent acts against humanity are committed by mean and evil people … but they happen anyway!
Even Jesus Christ who preached the blessing and favor to be found in choosing God and His ways over the world said that “…the rain falls on the just and the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45).
Found in Luke 13 is an interesting comment made by our Lord regarding what must have been a recent accident when eighteen people were killed by a falling tower. God doesn’t prevent bad things from happening in life, but He does offer us His love, comfort and guidance to handle it with wisdom! Jesus said, “Those eighteen upon whom the tower in Siloam feel and killed them, do you think they were worse offenders than all the others who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, No.”(Luke 13:4)
What is interesting, eye-opening, and causation for deep reflection are His words that follow, “… but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:5) What Jesus was teaching those in the audience and to us who have the revealed word is that we are all open to the danger of sudden destruction!
You see … no one is guaranteed time to prepare for death! No one! So, the goal is to recognize that “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2)
So, we must be careful to not become disillusioned by the mistaken idea that if we believe in the God of Heaven, the world will be ours! Rather, may we arrive at that place in life where we have the faith and trust in Jehovah that He will help us get through whatever trials of life we are called upon to face. He will not prevent trials from coming, but He does show us how to be prepared!
Bill Fairchild, Jr.