Ecclesiastes 3

* The changes of human affairs. (1-10) The Divine counsels

unchangeable. (11-15) The vanity of worldly power. (16-22)

1-10 To expect unchanging happiness in a changing world, must

end in disappointment. To bring ourselves to our state in life,

is our duty and wisdom in this world. God's whole plan for the

government of the world will be found altogether wise, just, and

good. Then let us seize the favourable opportunity for every

good purpose and work. The time to die is fast approaching. Thus

labour and sorrow fill the world. This is given us, that we may

always have something to do; none were sent into the world to be

11-15 Every thing is as God made it; not as it appears to us.

We have the world so much in our hearts, are so taken up with

thoughts and cares of worldly things, that we have neither time

nor spirit to see God's hand in them. The world has not only

gained possession of the heart, but has formed thoughts against

the beauty of God's works. We mistake if we think we were born

for ourselves; no, it is our business to do good in this life,

which is short and uncertain; we have but little time to be

doing good, therefore we should redeem time. Satisfaction with

Divine Providence, is having faith that all things work together

for good to them that love him. God doeth all, that men should

fear before him. The world, as it has been, is, and will be.

There has no change befallen us, nor has any temptation by it

taken us, but such as is common to men.
16-22 Without the fear of the Lord, man is but vanity; set that

aside, and judges will not use their power well. And there is

another Judge that stands before the door. With God there is a

time for the redressing of grievances, though as yet we see it

not. Solomon seems to express his wish that men might perceive,

that by choosing this world as their portion, they brought

themselves to a level with the beasts, without being free, as

they are, from present vexations and a future account. Both

return to the dust from whence they were taken. What little

reason have we to be proud of our bodies, or bodily

accomplishments! But as none can fully comprehend, so few

consider properly, the difference between the rational soul of

man, and the spirit or life of the beast. The spirit of man goes

upward, to be judged, and is then fixed in an unchangeable state

of happiness or misery. It is as certain that the spirit of the

beast goes downward to the earth; it perishes at death. Surely

their case is lamentable, the height of whose hopes and wishes

is, that they may die like beasts. Let our inquiry be, how an

eternity of existence may be to us an eternity of enjoyment? To

answer this, is the grand design of revelation. Jesus is

revealed as the Son of God, and the Hope of sinners.
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