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Time and Chance Happens to Us All?
During the 2011 Indiana State Fair, a tragedy occurred where uncommon high winds collapsed a make-shift stage killing 5 persons and injuring many others (source). I express my heart-felt condolences for all the families affected by this tragic event.
In a ceremony to honor families, the first Lady of Indiana, Cheri Daniels gave a speech wherein she referred to the last line of Ecclesiastes 9:11. She said:
As a devout Calvinisti, I was perplexed by this citation. Does time and chance happen to all or does God have a hand in all things, even tragedies?
I wonder if Ecclesiastes' ultimate message is that the world operates by fate or is the writer actually trying to capture the cynicism that it only APPEARS that the world is operating on fate (time and chance)? After all, the book of Ecclesiastes is perhaps best summarized by the line "all is vanity" (Eccl 1:2, 14, 2:17, 2:19, 12:8). What does it mean that "all is vanity"? Everything we say and do? Or everything we say and do outside the glorification and honor to God?
Perhaps Eccl 12:12-13 best illustrates the conclusion of Ecclesiastes:
Outside this "whole duty of man" is "all vanity". However, there is no implication that we should all pack it in and climb to the mountain top and live the life of a recluse monk. Rather, it is a reality to be aware, that everything we do is not as important as we might think. All of our "good works". All of our productivity and building up of legacy is...well; "vanity". What ultimately matters is that we FEAR GOD AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS.
So, while it appears to us time and chance happen to all, God is still in control of all things, even if those events are outside our understanding as to why.
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