Light and Darkness
Ecclesiastes 11:7, 8
Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun:…

The alternation of day and night is not only contributive to human convenience, it is symbolical of human experience.

I. THERE IS APPOINTED FOR MEN THE LIGHT OF YOUTH, HEALTH, AND PROSPERITY. He who rises betimes, and, turning to the east, watches for the sunrise, and then beholds the glorious orb of day rise from the plain or from the sea, and flood hill and valley, corn-field and pasture, with the radiant splendor of the morning, can enter into the language of the preacher, "Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun." And if then he looks into the face of a companion, a noble and generous youth, unstained by sin, undimmed by care, untouched by disease, he can well understand what is meant by the morning of life, the luster of youth, and can thank God that such a period, anal such strength, joy, and hope, have been appointed as a part of human experience. In youth and bounding health and high spirits, how fresh and winsome is the present! how alluring the future! Who would wish to cast a shadow upon the brightness which God himself has created?

II. THERE IS APPOINTED FOR MEN THE DARKNESS OF AGE, INFIRMITY, ADVERSITY, AND DEATH. The same individual whom we have regarded in the prime of his powers and the beauty of his joy will, if his life be prolonged, pass through quite other experiences. Clouds will gather about his head, the storm will smite him, the dark midnight will shroud him. There is no discharge in that war - no exemption from the common lot. He may lose his health, his powers of body or of mind, his property, his friends. He must walk through the valley of death-shade. In some form or other trouble and sorrow must be his portion.

III. THE DUTY AND THE WISDOM OF REMEMBERING THE APPROACH OF THE TIME OF DARKNESS. It may be objected that it will be time enough to think of the afflictions of life when they are actually present, and that it is a pity to cloud the sunny present by gloomy forebodings. Those who know the young and prosperous are, however, well aware that their natural tendency is altogether to ignore the likelihood of a great change in circumstances and experience. And to remember the providential appointment that our life cannot be eternal sunshine is, in many respects, a most desirable and profitable exercise. Thus shall we learn to place a due value, and no more than a due value, upon the pleasures, the diversions, the congenial pursuits of youth and prosperity. And, what is still better, thus may we be led to seek a deeper and surer foundation for our life - to acquire spiritual treasures, of which we cannot be deprived by lapse of time or change of circumstances. And thus shall we, by God's mercy, find that the darkness through which we needs must walk is but for a season, and that through it the people of God shall pass into the blessed sunshine of eternal day. - T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun:

WEB: Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to see the sun.

Enjoyment of the Present
Top of Page
Top of Page