Ecclesiastes 11 is short but sweet. Solomon talks about youth, God's command of nature, and the inevitability of bad days. These topics may seem a bit disjointed, but they are deeply connected both literally and spiritually.
When you think about nature, it's hard not to be in awe. Everything about it is amazing. Since the beginning of time, people have confused the awesome-ness of nature with the power of God. Most religions are based on sun or moon worship, but religions with multiple gods often had storm gods, gods of the sea, and the like. Even today, many agnostics I meet, defer to "Mother Nature" as their god. In Ecclesiastes 11, Solomon reminds us that all of the wonderful things we see in nature should be reminding us God, our Creator. We are not supposed to worship the stars, winds, or seas. They are the way they are simply because God created them to be that way, just as He created us.
The weather answers to God, so it is God we should seek when we desire specific outcomes for our crops (and safety). We don't understand why God does what He does, so we take action based on what we see in nature.
One of the things we have to remember and should understand as believers is that no matter how well we behave or how much faith we have, we will experience hardship at some point in our lives. Job is the poster child for this experience, but Solomon comments on it as well. He reminds us that there will be bad days, but God gives us more days for rejoicing than days for sorrow. I remind myself this on mediocre days; if nothing is wrong, I should be rejoicing.
Solomon's two points actually go very well together, and not just because the weather affected the Israelites' crops which effected their livelihood. In life, we are like plants (this analogy is found throughout the Bible). God cultivates us by providing rain, sunlight, and nutrients. We don't always understand God's methods, so we may despair during a "drought" or "harsh wind," but God is seeing fit that we grow into beautiful trees that bear rich fruit! It is only by growing through these trials that we become useful. In the beginning, Solomon talks about working through whatever weather God sends to produce our crop; the same is true spiritually. For example, if we are blessed (we'll call that sunny weather), we should be out spreading that blessing, just as a farmer would take advantage of good weather to plant his crop. However too much sun would cause our crop to die, just as too much blessing may have an adverse effect on our ability to be fruitful in life. We must make use of the "weather" God has provided us to grow spiritual and do the work of the kingdom.
Other Pages to View