From Ecclesiastes 9:11-18
Everything in life seems to be subject to the unpredictability of “time and chance.” Solomon writes of how men are caught in an evil time as fish are suddenly caught in a net or birds are surprised by a snare. This unpredictability of time and chance produces surprising results: “The race is not to the swift, Nor the battle to the strong, Nor bread to the wise, Nor riches to men of understanding, Nor favor to men of skill (9:11 NKJV).”
Solomon further illustrates the nature of time and chance by showing how wisdom itself is limited by life’s “randomness”. While he admits wisdom is sometimes better than brute strength and basic weaponry he points out how the personal benefits of wisdom can still be greatly limited by something as simple as poverty. “This wisdom I have also seen under the sun, and it seemed great to me: There was a little city with few men in it; and a great king came against it, besieged it, and built great snares around it. Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city. Yet no one remembered that same poor man (9:13-15 NKJV).”
Solomon is goading us. He wants us to think about the true nature of life. He wants us to consider the real ramifications of godless living. Life without God means there is no hope! The best Mr. Worldly Wise-Man can say is: “Do the best you can until your luck runs out.” A godless person must conclude that his life is at the mercy of “time and chance.”
A Christian worldview is radically different. When we interpret life “under the sun” with Biblical revelation we begin to understand the proper context of all our personal trials and tribulations. Jesus told us: “Not a sparrow falls to the ground apart from My Father’s will.” A Biblical worldview cancels “time and chance” and explains “bad luck” by telling us the true story of sin, and the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.
This world is under the judgment of God! (Genesis 3) The Bible does not ignore the harsh realities of life. It provides the explanation that will agree with your conscience. God has judged this world because of our sin. Sin disrupts the environment of the earth and the plant and animal kingdoms. Sin poisons our marriages and families, destroys our physical health, and is the reason for the existence of death.
Jesus taught us sin’s source is the human heart: “…those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man (Matthew 15:19-20).”
Jesus rescues people from sin! Jesus came into the world to rescue people from the judgment of God and this sin cursed world! When Jesus died on the cross he died on behalf of all sinning people. (That means you and me!) He took our sins upon himself and thus our punishment. The judgment of God is canceled when an individual looks to the cross of Christ for salvation. Have you been saved?
The dangers of “time and chance” are now strictly controlled by the hand of God. God is currently sovereignly managing this sin cursed world in such a way that every natural disaster, every physical sickness, and every relational struggle now works to benefit the individual who has relied on the cross for salvation. “All things work together for good to those who are called…” We could even say God is “micro-managing” the events of the lives of His children. God did not spare His own son so that we could be saved. He is willing (loves us enough) and able (powerful enough) to take every detail of your life in hand- from the smallest to the greatest. Have you been rescued from “time and chance” ?