Useful Bible Studies > Ecclesiastes Commentary > chapter 9

Time and chance

Ecclesiastes 9:11

You probably think that the fastest runner will win the race. Certainly, he deserves to win. But if he trips, someone else may take the prize.

History proves that the strongest army does not always win the battle. A lack of food or water can ruin the most powerful armies. Soldiers have died because their clothes were not suitable. Armies have lost wars when their captains gave foolish orders.

Clever people are not always wealthy. Wise people do not always get enough food. Often, intelligent people do not get the honour that they deserve. They remain poor and the rulers of their countries make foolish decisions without proper advice.

Of course strength and intelligence give some people an advantage over other people, but there is no certainty. There are two other matters that seem much more important for success in this world: time and chance.

There seems to be a proper time for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). A personís best efforts can fail merely because he acted at the wrong moment. But even when a person acts at the right time, success still seems a matter of chance. Events, such as accidents and opportunities, just happen and nobody can control them (Ecclesiastes 9:1-3).

We cannot really depend on anything in this world, because nothing is certain. That is why the Bible constantly urges us to trust God. He will not disappoint us like the things in this world. His people can trust him completely (Psalm 62:1-2; Psalm 46).

Next part: The right reaction to trouble (Ecclesiastes 9:12)


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© 2019, Keith Simons.