The Crook in the Lot

by Dennis Michelson
(Painesville, Ohio)

No Problem Man

No Problem Man

Ecclesiastes 7:13-14


Introduction: Thomas Boston preached a now-famous sermon on this text and a book was published in 1737. The concept that we all have a "lot" in life is squarely in line with the biblical doctrine of Providence.

This doctrine is either neglected or grossly misunderstood in today's religious world. It seems that when it comes to the "crooked" places in our "lot" we make the error of trying to humanize God or deify man to resolve the dilemma. Solomon offers a better explanation.

1. The Focus of Man (7:13)

"Consider the work of God." The study of theology was once known as the prince of the sciences but such concepts are scoffed at in today's man-centered world. The man (or woman) who does not make it their focus in life to "consider the work of God" is doomed to human reasoning and speculation.

2. The Feebleness of Man (7:13)

"Who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked." The decrees of God cannot be altered by men and the law of God cannot be broken with impunity. One of the most obscene and arrogant practices in modern religion is the attempt to straigthen out what God has made crooked by merely uttering words and religious incantations.

The believer certainly does not need to try and straighten out the work of God. The believer needs to straigthen up himself. The rampant superstition and emphasis on the existential stems from well-meaning people seeking to do exactly the opposite of what this phrase says.

3. The "Seeming" Fickleness of Providence (7:14)

We seem to have a fairly good grasp on being joyful in the day of prosperity but are struggling with the day of adversity. Notice we are instructed to "consider" when the day of adversity comes - that means use some discernment. Popular preaching today seeks to blame the day of adversity on the Devil and teach techniques to avoid it. What saith the Scriptures?

4. The Faith of the Believer (7:14)

"God also hath set the one over against the other." Learn a great lesson of the Christian life - it is the Lord that giveth and the Lord that taketh away - blessed be the name of the Lord. The old chorus is true - "He careth for you, He careth for you, In sunshine or shadow, He careth for you."

5. The Future for All (7:14)

"To the end that man should find nothing after him." When will we learn that we should not focus on what the future holds, but Who holds the future?

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