When life becomes very difficult, some people hope that their money and other possessions will save them. Other people think that their friends will help them in such circumstances.
The author of Ecclesiastes clearly believed that the difficulties would be extremely severe. He told people both to spread out their possessions (Ecclesiastes 11:1) and to make as many friends as possible (Ecclesiastes 11:2). If one plan did not succeed, then perhaps the other plan might.
People should not wait until their troubles started. It will be too late to make friends then. So they must start now.
Of course, the Bible encourages us to show love for other people (Luke 10:27-37). But when we do that, our desire should not be to gain benefits for ourselves (Matthew 5:46-47; Luke 14:12-14). Instead, we should try to show Godís kindness to other people, especially to poor people. And then it will be God who rewards us, not other people (Proverbs 19:17).
But there is another problem with that plan to make friends. And that problem is even more important than the lack of sincere reasons. When people trust their possessions or their friends, they are often not trusting God. In all circumstances - but especially when our lives are difficult - it is essential to trust God. He alone gives security to our lives (Psalm 62:1-2). Even the most impressive friends are weak; we cannot depend on them (Psalm 62:9). But we can, and must, depend on God. He is strong, and he loves his people (Psalm 62:11-12).
However, if we refuse to trust God, then we can only make desperate plans like those in Ecclesiastes 11:1-2 or Revelation 6:15. Otherwise, we will not be ready when terrible troubles happen. But we should be aware that even the best plans will fail. Our friends will not be loyal to us. Our money will lose its value. If we find food, it will not satisfy us.
And, in the end, God will be our judge (Ecclesiastes 12:14).
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© 2014, Keith Simons.