Eccl 9:11. I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
Are you wondering, as I am, if Solomon is ever going to rise above his under the sun perspective? Just when he gives good counsel, as in the previous verse, he once again drops into an “Oh, well. Sigh. Shrug” kind of attitude.
I’m sure you remember the fable of the tortoise and the hare. Everyone knows that a rabbit is faster than a turtle, so naturally the rabbit will win the race. But he didn’t. Why not? Was it God’s fault? No, it was his own considerable ego that lost him the race. He was so far ahead that he decided to take a little nap, and the turtle crept past him as he slept. The race went to the one who persevered.
Remember the story of Gideon and his tiny little army of only 300? That battle should, by man’s perspective, have gone to the enemy. The much, much stronger enemy. But God intervened, and because of Gideon’s faith and obedience, he won. Same with David and Goliath.
Wisdom doesn’t necessarily gather wealth. Education doesn’t always end in fame and fortune. So much depends upon our obedience to God and the faithfulness of our walk with him.
But Solomon didn’t spin it that way. He laid it all at the door of time and chance. Fate. Luck. The whimsy of the gods. The timing not being just right.
Our God is never whimsical, unless maybe when He created the platypus 🙂 He is ever faithful, never dependent on fate, luck, or timing.
Solomon’s thinking was very much influenced by his participation in the worship of the many gods of his wives and of the nations around him.
Don’t allow your thinking to be swayed by the world around you. Let it be the Word of God that teaches you how to think.