We will now begin chapter 11 of Ecclesiastes
11:1-2 “Ship your grain across the sea; after many days you may receive a return. Invest in seven ventures, yes, in eight; you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.”
- This can be interpreted two ways, and both are correct. It can be advice for business men and women, to take risks in life and invest in much, otherwise you will not gain anymore than you have. Jesus speaks of a similar situation in one of his parables. In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus speaks of three servants that received gold from their master. We want to be the servant that doubled the gold he had received. It can also be advice for anyone, to share what they have, and give to those who don’t have much.
11:3-5 “If clouds are full of water, they pour rain on the earth. Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where it falls, there it will lie. Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap. As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.”
- There are some things that we understand. If we see dark clouds, we know rain is approaching. We know that when a tree falls it will lie there, until someone moves it or cuts it up. But some of the things God does we do not understand or comprehend and we never will. We can never predict which direction the wind will blow. If a farmer waits for the perfect situation to plant seed, he will never plant the seed. Risks are necessary to take in this world.
11:6 “Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.”
- We cannot predict the future, and a farmer does not know whether his crop will be good or bad, but he hopes it will be good. In the same way we do not know what our life will be like, or what it will be tomorrow. Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” We should always be helping and spreading the kingdom of God.
11:7-8 “Light is sweet, and it pleases the eyes to see the sun. However many years anyone may live, let them enjoy them all. But let them remember the days of darkness, for there will be many. Everything to come is meaningless.”
- Solomon wants us to live while we can, enjoy every minute of every day. There will come a time when we can’t enjoy all of things we once could, it’s called death. This is the “darkness” Solomon speaks of.
11:9-10 “You who are young, be happy while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment. So then, banish anxiety from your heart and cast off the troubles of your body, for youth and vigor are meaningless.”
- We should enjoy our youth, for it does not last long. We should be free to do as we choose, but we must choose wisely, because in the end God is our judge and he will judge us based on our actions. We must also not live in unnecessary anxiety, our youth does not last long and we must enjoy it as happily as possible.
This concludes the eleventh chapter of Ecclesiastes.