DCLM Daily Manna Saturday 13 January 2024
TOPIC: A Common Destiny for All
TEXT: ECCLESIASTES 9:1-12
9 For all this I considered in my heart even to declare all this, that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God: no man knoweth either love or hatred by all that is before them.
2 All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.
3 This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.
4 For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.
7 Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.
8 Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment.
9 Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.
10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.
11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
12 For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.
“I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all”
DCLM Daily Manna 13 Jan 2024 MESSAGE
No mortal has had death ultimately waived for him because of his human wisdom, skill, prosperity or greatness. Despite their celebrity status and possessions, they must sooner or later, pass on. Nor has any been spared this common destiny on account of their penurious condition.
This is not blind fatalism, from the perspectives of the word of God. Rather, it is the dominant plan of the Lord at work in the lives of men and women. When Solomon said, “time and chance happeneth to them all” (both the ‘smart’ and the ‘not so smart’), he was simply saying that God is the One behind the “time and chance”. Man overlooks this factor and overly concentrates on his prowess to make the clock of life tick or stop, according to his whims and caprices. Yet, “the race is not for the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill…”
This summation by the wise preacher captures all the endeavours and activities of man under the sun. And though these legitimate enterprises appear to be a foolproof package for survival, the inspired son of David concludes that “the sons of men (are still) snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.” This is the tragedy of mankind’s engagement with life. Man is burdened with fighting for physical things, without due consideration for “time and chance,” spiritually interpreted as God’s flawless interventions.
Being guided by God’s ways means we must live righteously (putting on “white garments”), with our head not lacking “ointment” (grace). Thus kitted, we are prepared for any eventuality at any point while serving Him.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: When death arrests, there is no resistance, respect or respite.
THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: MATTHEW 27-28