This Unintelligible World
Ecclesiastes 3:11
He has made every thing beautiful in his time: also he has set the world in their heart…

How shall we solve all those great problems which continually confront us, which baffle and bewilder us, which sometimes drive us to the very verge of distraction or even of unbelief? The solution is partly found in -

I. A WIDE VIEW OF THE WORTH OF PRESENT THINGS. If we look long and far, we shall see that, though many things have an ugly aspect at first sight, God "has made everything beautiful in its time." The light and warmth of summer are good to see and feel; but is not the cold of winter invigorating? and what is more beautiful to the sight than the untrodden snow? The returning life of spring is welcome to all hearts; but are not the brilliant hues of autumn fascinating to every eye? Youth is full of ardor, and manhood of strength; but declining years possess much richness of gathered wisdom, and there is a dignity, a calm, a reverence, m age which is all its own. There is a joy in battle as well as a pleasantness in peace. Wealth has its treasures; but poverty has little to lose, and therefore little cause for anxiety and trouble. Luxury brings many comforts, but hardness gives health and strength. Each climate upon the earth, every condition in life, the various dispositions and temperaments of the human soul, - these have their own particular advantage and compensation. Look on the other side, and you will see something that will please, if it does not satisfy.

II. THE HELP WE GAIN FROM THE GREAT ELEMENT OF FUTURITY. "Also he hath set eternity" (marginal reading, Revised Version) "in their heart." We are made to look far beyond the boundary of the visible and the present. The idea of "the eternal" may help us in two ways.

1. That we are created for the unseen and the eternal accounts for the fact that nothing which is earthly and sensible will satisfy our souls. Nothing of that order ought to do so; and it would put the seal upon our degradation if it did so. Our unsatisfiable spirit is the signature of our manhood and the prophecy of our immortality.

2. The inclusion of the future in our reasoning makes all the difference to our thought. Admit only the passing time, this brief and uncertain life, and much that happens is inexplicable and distressing indeed; but include the future, add "eternity "to the account, and the "crooked is made straight," the perplexity is gone. But, even with this aid, there is -

III. THE MYSTERY WHICH REMAINS, AND WILL REMAIN No man can find out," etc. We do well to remember that what we see is only a very small part indeed of the whole - only a page of the great volume, only a scene in the great drama, only a field of the large landscape - and we may well be silenced, if not convinced. But even that does not cover everything. We need to remember that we are human, and not Divine; that we, who are God's very little children, cannot hope to understand all that is in the mind of our heavenly Father - cannot expect to fathom his holy purpose, to read his unfathomable thoughts. We see enough of Divine wisdom, holiness, and love to believe that, when our understanding is enlarged and our vision cleared, we shall find that "all the paths of the Lord were mercy and truth" - even those which most troubled and bewildered us when we dwelt upon the earth. - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

WEB: He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in their hearts, yet so that man can't find out the work that God has done from the beginning even to the end.

The Mystery and the Meaning of Life
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