PLANNING FOR THE UNKNOWN
Lord, I give You my time and all that I have. May it be used to bring glory to You.
Read Ecclesiastes 11
Invest in Many Ventures
11 Ship your grain across the sea;
after many days you may receive a return.
2 Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight;
you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.
3 If clouds are full of water,
they pour rain on the earth.
Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north,
in the place where it falls, there it will lie.
4 Whoever watches the wind will not plant;
whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.
5 As you do not know the path of the wind,
or how the body is formed[a] in a mother’s womb,
so you cannot understand the work of God,
the Maker of all things.
6 Sow your seed in the morning,
and at evening let your hands not be idle,
for you do not know which will succeed,
whether this or that,
or whether both will do equally well.
Remember Your Creator While Young
7 Light is sweet,
and it pleases the eyes to see the sun.
8 However many years anyone may live,
let them enjoy them all.
But let them remember the days of darkness,
for there will be many.
Everything to come is meaningless.
9 You who are young, be happy while you are young,
and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth.
Follow the ways of your heart
and whatever your eyes see,
but know that for all these things
God will bring you into judgment.
10 So then, banish anxiety from your heart
and cast off the troubles of your body,
for youth and vigor are meaningless.
a Ecclesiastes 11:5 Or know how life (or the spirit) / enters the body being formed
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectAre you worried about something? “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Pet. 5:7).
The first part of this passage (1–6) is basically saying “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” Because we do not know what might happen in the future, it is always sensible to spread our investments (1,2) and to work hard (6). These investments may be financial as the Teacher here envisages, but this is also relevant to the relationships we give our time to, or education and training that may prove valuable in the future. There are many ways to invest.
The Teacher then advises those who are young to enjoy themselves while they can, at the same time remembering that God is Judge (9,10).
Both of these areas relate to the idea that we cannot know the future (3–5). When the Teacher speaks of youth, he is thinking of being fit and healthy and without major worries. We cannot know how long these things will last, so we should make the most of them while we can. Similarly, we do not know what disasters we will encounter in life, so we cannot be sure which of our investments will bring a return. It may not be a cheerful thought, but the Teacher is at least offering sound advice!
Are there decisions you need to take or investments you need to make for the future?
Lord, guide me and give me wisdom in every decision I take.