Summary: A study of chapter 11 verses 1 through 10
Ecclesiastes 11: 1 – 10
Spectator or Participant
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. 9 Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth; Walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes; But know that for all these God will bring you into judgment. 10 Therefore remove sorrow from your heart, and put away evil from your flesh, for childhood and youth are vanity.
Well, well, here is an interesting supposedly dilemma, chapter 11 only has 10 verses. You might be thinking, ‘How are you gonna get a whole study out of a few verses.’ No problem. If you haven’t learned by now, my problem is keeping studies short. So, let us take a crack at reviewing our Precious Holy Spirit’s awesome wisdom.
‘And now brethren, let us cast our bread upon the waters.’ Sounds like a nice speech from a minister who lived during the 1800’s. But joking aside, verse 1 is a beautiful stanza, ‘Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days.’ This statement emphasizes the element of risk and uncertainty of our business activities. We have read in the last passages of chapter 10 these directions;
“16 Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child, and your princes feast in the morning! 17 Blessed are you, O land, when your king is the son of nobles, and your princes feast at the proper time— for strength and not for drunkenness! 18 Because of laziness the building decays, and through idleness of hands the house leaks. 19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes merry; But money answers everything. 20 Do not curse the king, even in your thought; Do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom; For a bird of the air may carry your voice, and a bird in flight may tell the matter.”
These previous passages deal with royalty and leaders. Solomon now focuses on the common people in verses 1 through 6. How many here know what tomorrow will bring? If you do, let’s talk later. We do not know what will happen when we do things. We do not know how our Wonderful God will have planned for us in the near future. Missing this information though should not hinder us from making valuable and productive use of each day. Remember what our Holy Master said to us as recorded in the Gospel of John chapter 5, “31 “If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true. 32 There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true. 33 You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 34 Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved. 35 He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light. 36 But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. 37 And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. 38 But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. 39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. 41 “I do not receive honor from men. 42 But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you. 43 I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. 44 How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God? 45 Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”