The Divine Worker and the Human Student
Ecclesiastes 3:11
He has made every thing beautiful in his time: also he has set the world in their heart…


1. In nature. That same power which created our world with all its variety of life and phenomena is constantly exerted in sustaining and governing the same; that same hand which first marshalled the hosts of heaven is ever engaged preserving the regularity of their movements in their vast orbits.

2. In providence. In the raising up and the removal of the wise and great, in the rise and fall of empires, we see His agency originating, or guiding, or overruling events.

3. In redemption. "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself." By His Holy Spirit, and by various Christian ministries, He is ever working for the salvation of men from sin.

II. MAN IS ENGAGED IN ENDEAVOURING TO UNDERSTAND THE WORK OF GOD. He seeks to "find out the work that God maketh." Man is inquisitive as to God's work in the physical creation; the astronomer, the geologist, the naturalist, the physiologist, and others endeavour to penetrate into the mystery of the Divine work in the material realms. The psychologist seeks to "understand the work that God maketh" in the realm of mind and heart. Man also scrutinizes the work of God in providence and in redemption. This is right. Reverently prosecuted, this study, of "the work that God maketh" is most quickening, inspiring, and saving m its influence on the student.


1. Man can understand the work of God in part. He can "find out" —

(1) That the perfection of God's work in man has been marred, destroyed.

(2) That by his own unaided efforts man is utterly unable to recover his lost perfection.

(3) That God has provided a glorious Restorer in Jesus Christ.

(4) That we need guidance and help in the walk and work of life.

(5) That infallible guidance and inexhaustible strength are given to those who seek them from God. Comp. Proverbs 3:4, 5; Deuteronomy 33:25; 2 Corinthians 12:9.

(6) That there is a state of being beyond this present and visible one, in which our state and position will be determined by the character which we form here and now. Here also there are mysteries, but the great facts are very clearly revealed.

2. Man cannot understand the work of God fully. This is true as regards the material realm Every part of nature still has her mysteries to man. Nor are we able to understand fully God's work in providence. There are chapters in the history of the human race which are inscrutable enigmas to us when we consider them in relation to His control of human affairs. Even in our own lives there are painful mysteries, e.g. privations, bereavements, afflictions, etc. Our very being is a mystery to us. We cannot understand much; we are speedily bewildered with difficulties, and troubled with what are to us dark and sad anomalies; but let us rejoice in the fact that God "maketh everything beautiful in its time": the deformity, and sin, and sorrow are not of His making. Let us rejoice, too, that He will work on until order is developed out of the moral chaos of this world, and the sin-cursed earth blossoms into an Eden of unfading beauty.

(W. Jones.)

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 Child of Eternity
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