“…if a tree falls to the south or the north, in the place
where the tree falls, there it shall lie.” Ecclesiates 11:3
About three thousand years ago a man, on a summit of despair, pondered the oppression and inequities in life and proclaimed them to be grievous. But this same man also compared the pursuit of blessings to taking a hold of the wind.
Today is no different. We see the same troubles. Talk about oppression. Can you name a few examples? Kim Jong-un perhaps. India’s Hindus murdering and terrorizing Christians. California politics. Sex-trafficking. Abortion. Liberal professors deliberately using peer pressure to pry Christians from their faith. Fake news and pretend pundits. Failing youth, failing health, oh, oppression’s list is endless.
And blessings? What do we seek from God but financial abundance sufficient to protect us against every contingency? We pay for health insurance, auto insurance, fire, flood and earthquake insurance, dental insurance, vacation insurance, death insurance, life insurance, and in the end, though we may have every insurance available to man, our ASSURANCE is on low ebb. In essence we cry out to God, “protect me, feed me, heal me, love me in tangibles ways all my days. God use me, don’t lose me, keep me on the narrow way. More love, more power, more wealth, better health, nicer car, improve my home, bless me Lord, make me a star.”
Let’s refer to our troubles as a wind so strong it could knock a tree down to the ground.
And let’s compare to our blessings to rain.
Now carefully look at Ecclesiastes 11:1-8. Make sure your seat belt is buckled.
1″Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days. 2 Give a serving to seven, and also to eight, for you do not know what evil will be on the earth.
3 If the clouds are full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth; and if a tree falls to the south or the north, in the place where the tree falls, there it shall lie. 4 He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap. 5 As you do not know what is the way of the wind, or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, so you do not know the works of God who makes everything. 6 In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening do not withhold your hand; for you do not know which will prosper, either this or that, or whether both alike will be good.
7 Truly the light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to behold the sun; 8 but if a man lives many years and rejoices in them all, yet let him remember the days of darkness, for they will be many. All that is coming is vanity.”
Wow! As Christians we have a clear mandate to be about our Father’s business, seeking first His Kingdom and His righteousness, knowing that He will take care of the rest. Yet we live in perilous days and can easily become so distracted by the winds of adversity blowing all around us and knocking over things we cherish (like falling trees in the wind), that we fail to obey God’s commandments to “cast your bread upon the waters.” Interestingly, Solomon cites as motivation to get busy the inevitability of evil on the earth. This is similar to Paul’s words in Ephesians 5:15,16, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, BECAUSE THE DAYS ARE EVIL. 17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
Couple this with Colossians 4: 5 “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.” Why? Because our days are evil and few. So let’s not waste time freaking out over the wild circus we call life but focus on what God wants us to do in response. Why? Because he who observes the wind will not sow.
And what else can we be distracted by? Yes, blessings! We await our blessings like a farmer observing the clouds, hoping for signs of rain. We promise ourselves, God and others that we will get involved in the fight for lost and dying souls, just as soon as our finances are in order or our mental and physical health is A OKAY or our car gets repaired or we’ve memorized every verse pertaining to life and to godliness. But of course, these are just excuses for disobedience. Right?
Why is this so important? Because he who constantly observes winds of trouble will not sow and he who continually focusses on clouds of blessings will not reap. Why? Because though good may come, evil is nipping at its heels. We will all experience enough “evil” in this world to keep us distracted until Kingdom come. It takes an act of great faith and courage to step on out into the fray, sowing seeds both night and day, and I confess that my own focus often wavers as I look to God for His favors.
We pray together, “God tear our eyes away from evil tidings and expected blessings and help us look to the horizon, that day we meet You face to face. God make us brave for we are afraid, and determined for we waver. We agree together and therefore receive it as so, for we have certainly prayed according to Your perfect will, in Jesus name, amen!”