Bible Society of South Africa

The world is in turmoil, but God is in control - 29 November 2023

By Ewald Schmidt

Bible text(s)

14I know that everything God does will last for ever. You can't add anything to it or take anything away from it. And one thing God does is to make us stand in awe of him. 15Whatever happens or can happen has already happened before. God makes the same thing happen again and again.

Ecclesiastes 3:14-15GNBOpen in Bible reader

We are living in a world that is over flowing with human plans. Some of those plans are meant for good. There are people dedicating their lives to better the lives of others. There are medical researchers that are giving their all to conquer the feared illnesses of this world. There are technological researchers that try to make the future more comfortable. Elon Musk is researching ways to take humanity to other planets. However, there are also a lot of evil human planning around. Terrorists are planning their next terror attacks, aiming to hurt and kill as many people as possible. We live in a world in turmoil and so much of the hurt we experience is the result of evil human ambitions and intentions. Ecclesiastes has taught us about the state of humanity and has found that we, as mankind, never change. There is nothing new under the sun, humanity keeps on doing stupid things. In the rest of the book, the author will describe these efforts as chasing after the wind (for example, Ecclesiastes 4:4). The things we plan and the things we do are temporary when measured against God’s eternity. One day, we will die and all our plans will come to naught.

Against our ways, chasing after the wind, is the eternal way of God. He has created heaven and earth. He sustains his creation. There is such a beautiful order in the orbits of stars and planets. Old stars burn out, new stars are formed and there are so many things in the celestial body above us that we cannot start to comprehend yet. We have still not flown further than our own moon. On our little planet, we live out our lives. There is still so much to discover; we know so little about living sustainably on the planet that God has placed in our care. During our lifetimes, we ask so many questions about the will of God and the works he does in our lives. What is really the will of God? What is the result of my own choices? We do not always see the difference.

Ecclesiastes leads us to think about life. We are brought to the point where we must confess that there are so many things that we do not know. We develop a holy fear of God. We learn to put our trust in him, for our daily bread and for our hope for the future. When Ecclesiastes says that there is nothing new under the sun, it gives us comfort. Nothing is going to cross our paths today that God have not seen before and cannot handle. He remains in control. He takes care of me. He is good. And even though I have many questions, I choose to put my trust in him.

Prayer: Lord, thank you that you are the Ancient of Days. Thank you that nothing in this world that will cross my path, will be a surprise to you. Thank you that I may be human, small and insignificant in the ages, but precious in your eyes. I place my life in your hands, putting all my trust in you for today and for my future. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.16
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