Ecclesiastes 10:1-11:10; 2 Corinthians 8:1-9; Psalms 49:10-20; Proverbs 14:34-35
OT: “Send your bread on the surface of the water, for after many days you may find it. Give a portion to seven or even to eight, for you don’t know what disaster may happen on earth. If the clouds are full, they will pour out rain on the earth; whether a tree falls to the south or the north, the place where the tree falls, there it will lie. One who watches the wind will not sow, and the one who looks at the clouds will not reap. Just as you don’t know the path of the wind, or how bones develop in the womb of a pregnant woman, so also you don’t know the work of God who makes everything. In the morning sow your seed, and at evening do not let your hand rest, because you don’t know which will succeed, whether one or the other, or if both of them will be equally good.” (Ecclesiastes 11:1-6 CSB)
When you remove the good and loving Creator God from the mix, life becomes fatalistic and nihilistic: we can do nothing about the outcome of our lives because everything is subject to fate, therefore every effort to improve or better ourselves is completely senseless and meaningless. I have actually spent time in and traveled through a nation whose people did not have a belief in a good and merciful God, but a belief in many self-serving gods that one must appease for any hope of a future. I have seen the empty look on its people’s faces as they slogged through their meaningless and hopeless existence on earth. Solomon was headed down that fatalistic and nihilistic path until he considered God and faith. Faith in the ever-faithful Creator God, Who established all of the laws of nature with the authority of His word, changes everything. With God in the picture, the future is no longer a meaningless inevitability. It is an unwritten adventure with the words, will and ways of the Creator as our guide. We can sow now according to the word, will and ways of the Lord God and expect a bountiful harvest in the future. We can step into risky endeavors with faith in God, knowing that as we fear Him, He will be faithful to fulfill the promises that He made.
Solomon illustrated taking risks with faith through two examples: a merchant and a farmer. A merchant places his faith in the law of investment and return. He could keep his grain to himself, but by doing that, he would never release its earning power. So the merchant loads his grain (bread) onto ships (the surface of the water), knowing that when the ships reach their destination, he will experience a return on the value of his commodity. In order to reduce his risk, he diversifies his investment into seven or eight ships. He does all of this in faith, and through faith he experiences a great return. The farmer sows his seed, trusting in weather patterns that he has no control over, and expects to reap a bountiful harvest. The farmer who withholds his seed because he is waiting for the perfect series of events to occur will miss his window of opportunity to sow and reap the later harvest. The successful farmer sows his seed and places his faith in things that he can’t control and doesn’t completely understand, knowing that harvest will come.
There are many complicated and complex things in life that we count on, but don’t fully understand and can’t fully control… things that God causes to occur faithfully through His absolute sovereignty. Are there things about life that are out of our control? Yes – but God is the Creator and ultimate Master of them all. And God is good, merciful, loving and faithful. Under His Lordship, our present has purpose and our future is hopeful as we place faith in His word, will and ways. So we faithfully sow and invest our lives today into God’s purposes, fully expecting by faith to reap a bountiful harvest and rich returns in the life-to-come.
Prayer: Lord, I thank you that the life You designed for me to live is neither fatalistic nor nihilistic. While there are things in life that I can’t control, my future is an unknown adventure written by the choices that I make today. Though I can’t see my future, I don’t have to go into the future blindly. You have given me Your word, Your will, Your ways, and Your Spirit to guide my path and lead my way. By sowing in faith according to Your leading, I know by faith that I will reap a rich and fruitful harvest. Help me to take the risks that are before me, as I place my faith completely in Your unwavering faithfulness. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.