Grace for Your Day September 20

Fatalism can be defined as “the philosophy of fate.” It is the concept that all of life is determined by a mindless, meaningless, pointless destiny that cannot be stopped no matter what you do. It cannot be resisted. Christians do not embrace this idea because we believe in providence. We know that God is sovereign over everything while, at the same time, our actions have meaning in this life.  

However, fatalism is popular today in many religions of the world including Buddhism and Platonism. Palm readers and horoscope writers also practice it and it is the philosophy that Solomon describes in Ecclesiastes 3:1-9 when he writes:
"There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven —
A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.
What profit is there to the worker from that in which he toils?" 

This passage may be one of the most famous ones in the Bible because it is often quoted at funerals to give people hope but that is not the way Solomon applies it here. In this passage, Solomon is “seeking and exploring wisdom” (1:13). He is “considering madness and folly” (2:12) in order to find some cure to the vanity of this world and, after trying several things, he now turns to fatalism. He gives up the search by saying that time governs all. You cannot trick Mother Nature and you cannot fool Father Time so you should not even try. “What profit is there in it?”

However, this does not help him find meaning, either, because verse 11 says “God has also set eternity in their heart.” In other words, Solomon knows that there is more to life than this. He knows that God rules over this world, not fate, so He should not be so bleak. He needs to be more hopeful which is what we are going to talk about this Sunday morning at Grace Fellowship Church.

This week, we are going to continue our studies in the Book of Ecclesiastes by talking about “A Time for Everything.” This is an important topic because we have all been tempted to give up on life. We have all wanted to join Solomon in his despair so we need to understand what the Bible says here. It tells us that satisfaction cannot be found that way. It can only be found in God because “everything God does will remain forever” (3:14). All of the events in time come and go but His will never fails so He is the One that you should trust in.

Please join us as we study this amazing passage together. – Jeremy Cagle