Ecclesiastes 3:14
I know that everything God does will remain forever; nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God works that men should revere Him.
The Eternity and Perfection of the Divine Purposes and DoingsJ. O. Parr, M. A.Ecclesiastes 3:14
The Purposes of ProvidenceD. Thomas Ecclesiastes 3:14
The Conclusion of Folly or the Faith of the Wise?W. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 3:12, 13, 22
Divine Constancy and Human PietyW. Clarkson Ecclesiastes 3:14, 15
A Present Use and Enjoyment of the Gifts of God is AdvisableJ. Willcoc Ecclesiastes 3:14-17
Different minds, observing and considering the same facts, are often very differently affected by them. The measure of previous experience and culture, the natural disposition, the tone and temper with which men address themselves to what is before them, - all affect the conclusion at which they arrive. The conviction produced in the mind of the Preacher of Jerusalem is certainly deserving of attention; he saw the hand of God in nature and in life, where some see only chance or fate. To see God's hand, to admire his wisdom, to appreciate his love, in our human life, - this is an evidence of sincere and intelligent piety.

I. GOD'S WORK IS PERFECT AND UNALTERABLE. "Nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it." This cannot be said to be the general conviction; on the contrary, men are always finding fault with the constitution of things. If they had been consulted in the creation of the universe, and in the management of human affairs, all would have been far better than it is! Now, all depends upon the end in view. The scientific man would make an optical instrument which should serve as both microscope and telescope - a far more marvelous construction than the eye. The pleasure-seeker would eliminate pain and sorrow from human life, and would make it one prolonged rapture of enjoyment. But the Creator had no intention of making an instrument which should supersede human inventions; his aim was the production of a working, everyday, useful organ of vision. The Lord of all never aimed at making life one long series of gratification; he designed life to be a moral discipline, in which suffering, weakness, and distress fulfill their own service of ministering to man's highest welfare. For the purposes intended, God's work needs no apology and admits of no improvement.

II. GOD'S WORK IS ETERNAL. All men's works are both unstable and transitory. Fresh ends are ever being approved and sought by fresh means. The laws of nature know no change; the principles of moral government are the same from age to age. When we learn to distrust our own fickleness, and to weary of human uncertainty and mutability, then we fall back upon the unchanging counsels of him who is from everlasting to everlasting.

III. GOD'S WORK HAS A PURPOSE WITH REFERENCE TO MAN. What God has done in this world he has done for the benefit of his spiritual family. Everything that is may be regarded as the vehicle of communication between the creating and the created mind. The intention of God is "that men should fear before him,"' i.e. venerate and glorify him. Our human probation and education as moral and accountable beings is his aim. Hence the obligation on our part to observe, inquire, and consider, to reverence, serve, and obey, and thus consciously and voluntarily secure the ends for which the Creator designed and fashioned us. - T,

I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever.
Most important and consolatory truth is contained in these words. In it the Preacher seems to find refuge from the perplexity and uncertainty of human things; on it he seems to rest that conclusion of practical wisdom which he draws from the consideration of the vanities of human life; that it is the duty, and for the happiness of man, thankfully and confidingly to enjoy the good which he possesses, as bestowed at once, and secured by the merciful and unfailing providence of God. In this truth he seems to have found a rock, on which he might set his feet securely, being delivered by the light of Divine wisdom out of the unsteady and intricate paths of human short-sightedness and folly.

I. The very NATURE OF MAN is transient and imperfect, much more THE WORKS in which he is engaged. Frail are they, and fugitive, mutable and perishable, uncertain and insecure, never continuing in one stay. This is the very property of a dependent and finite creature, who cannot set up a will of his own, or execute a work in opposition to the will, and exempt from the control of that Supreme Power who gave him his being, and to whom he is necessarily subject. But beside this essential insufficiency in man as a mere creature, sin has marred his limited powers, and induced corruptness, as well as imperfectness into all his works.

II. Consider, in opposition to this picture of man, THE NATURE AND WORKS OF GOD; more particularly as they have relation to, and affect mankind.

1. "Whatsoever God doeth it shall be for ever."(1) Because there is no change of purpose in God.(2) Every singular decree of His will, and every several act of His power, humanly separated out of this great unity, "is, in truth, for ever," and hath in it a perpetuity, being joined on,. indissolubly and eternally, to that one all-involving and everlasting design.(3) It shall stand; because no created and superior power can interfere to overthrow it

2. But the purposes and works of God in relation to man are also perfect. They are entire, complete, and of finished excellence.

3. But especially, whatsoever He doeth in the covenant of His mercy, and in the salvation provided for man in His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ "shall be for ever; nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it."(1) It is eternal, unfailing, and unchangeable in Christ, by whom it hath been executed and accomplished.(2) This salvation is also eternal in God's purpose and decree of mercy.(3) This salvation is also eternal in the work of grace and sanctification.(4) But, moreover, His salvation is perfect in itself, complete, entire, wanting nothing, neither requiring nor admitting any addition, but providing all that is needful for every sinner's recovery to everlasting life. It is a full and free salvation.

III. THE END AND MOTIVE WHICH GOD HATH IN HIS DOINGS, eternal and perfect as they are, is, that men may fear Him. Oh! what a holy and heavenly blending of gracious influences and sweet emotions is included in this godly fear; humble and awful reverence, bowing before the supreme greatness and goodness of the Lord God omnipotent; meek, and confiding trust, resting on His power and mercy, pledged, and engaged, and manifestly operating in behalf of fallen man; lively gratitude for surpassing grace, and redemption at once free and unfailing; pure and true love to infinite excellence of omnipotence and benevolence. This is sanctified, this is acceptable fear; this is that fear in which holiness must be perfected.

(J. O. Parr, M. A.)

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