Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Time and Chance Happen to them All....

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. For man does not his time; Like fish taken in a cruel net, Like birds caught in a snare, So the sons of men are snared in an evil time, When it falls suddenly upon them." Ecclesiastes 9:11-12

This verse has always been very compelling to me. No matter how many achievements or toys we have collected, death becomes the great equalizer. And unless we take matters into our own hands, it is God's prerogative the date and time we are appointed to die. I looked up this verse in my Companion Bible edited by E.W. Bullinger and he has a note written about the word "chance" in verse 11. In Strong's Lexicon, this word is #2694 and is transliterated pega`. Bullinger states that it is rendered as a time of misfortune. It occurs only in one other verse, I Kings 5:4 where it is translated having to do with evil or calamity.

So, according to Solomon, misfortune is appointed for all of us. I thought about that for a minute and how he, as the writer of the book of Ecclesiastes concludes 31 times, according to my count, that all is vanity. If this were the end of the story, how sad it would be. This was the man who had everything talking: riches, wine, women, fame and fortune. But somehow, after attaining all these things, Solomon forgot the source of all his prosperity: God. So his conclusion naturally is that misfortune is given to every human being who walks on the face of the planet.

What a depressing thought. This book made me quite sad at one point in my life. But after reading about the term misfortune yesterday, I immediately thought of the believer in Christ, what is promised to him, by the very fact that he is in association with the Lord. These were some of the verses that immediately came to mind:

Psalm 37:23-25

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the LORD upholds him with His hand.
I have been young, and now am old;Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken,Nor his descendants begging bread.

The believer is not abandoned to happenstance, to fate. God is in charge of every detail of his life.

Psalm 34:15-16

The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous,And His ears are open to their cry.
The face of the LORD is against those who do evil,To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

God hears His children when we cry out to Him. Our prayers reach to the highest heaven, not just to the ceiling!

Job 23:9-10

When He works on the left hand, I cannot behold Him;When He turns to the right hand, I cannot see Him.
But He knows the way that I take;When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.

This is not someone predestined to fate, but someone in the care of a loving God!

Matthew 10:29-31

“Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.“Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows."

I can either believe this is true, or believe that the world is meaningless, life is meaningless, so eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.

Romans 8:18

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

I Peter 5:10

But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.

God doesn't see death the way we do either, it is not a time of misfortune or hopelessness for the one who knows the Lord. Rather, it is Graduation Day.

Psalm 116:15

Precious in the sight of the LORD Is the death of His saints.

These are just a smattering of the verses which speak of the great care and love that the Heavenly Father has for each of His children, even in a world that appears to be spinning out of control. If you are not sure that you have that relationship with God, it is freely offered to you by Him through His Son Jesus Christ. He willingly took on humanity and lived a perfect life here on this planet, and when the time was right, offered Himself to God as the perfect sacrifice on the cross for every sin of every human being, no matter what they have done. The only thing that can separate us from having this life is unbelief that He did this for you.

John 3:16-18

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

So, before the darkness in this world grows even darker, you can make a simple decision today to go from being one whom "time and chance happens to them all" to being a beloved son or daughter of the Most High God.

I leave you with this last verse from Ephesians. See how much the Father wants you to come to Him, by doing it all for you in providing Jesus Christ. Put your full faith in Him alone today.

Ephesians 2:4-7

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

That is what He wants for each one of us...

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