Monday, August 21, 2023

Harmony of Purpose (Ecclesiastes 3:9-15)

"He has made everything beautiful in its time" (Eccl. 3:11).

God has “made everything beautiful in its time.” The seasons of our lives are not feathers adrift on the wind, they are beautiful dispensations of God’s sovereign plan. This applies to the periods of suffering and trial as well as to times of abundant blessings. “Even evil, though in itself most revolting, yet by a wise exercise of Omnipotence, is overruled for good, and exhibits the beauty of the Divine workmanship,” Bridges writes. “The histories of Joseph and Esther illustrate this beauteous harmony—the combination of circumstances fitting in their proper places—all in due connection and dependence.” The evil intent of Joseph’s brothers created the circumstances for Israel’s eventual prosperity, bondage, and redemption. The enslavement of Esther—still an enslavement no matter how royal—led to the salvation of the Jewish people from Haman’s plot. The greedy schemes of Judas and the hatred of the Pharisees served as a catalyst for the redemption of mankind. These wicked and evil circumstances, these seasons of evil, played a necessary part in the beautiful purposes of God.

God has written a sense of that beauty, of the order of His creation, in the hearts of all men. Fallen humanity might not be able to explain it, but it has a sense that in the midst of this chaotic mix of tragedy and beauty, there is a solid, substantial purpose. Some call it destiny, others fate. No matter the designation, they cannot escape it. Eternity, the sense of God’s enduring rule, clings to our souls; and yet, “no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.” Our finite minds cannot grasp the purposes of God, but we know that the thread of His immutable will runs through everything.

“I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken from. God does it, that men should fear [or revere] before Him” (vs. 14). Our response to God in the midst of life’s varied seasons should be one of faithful submission and worship. As we consider that God is working out all things according to a good and beautiful purpose, it is not our place to argue with Him. Instead, we should listen to Solomon and praise God, fear Him, and worship Him with adoration.

Can you see the clear thread of God’s purpose woven through the fabric of your life? As you begin the week, trace in your mind what God has done for you and give thanks.