Saturday, February 04, 2017

Balance in the Christian Life: Considering the "crooked" places and "frowning" providences

Note: Devotion taken from sermon on Ecclesiastes 7:11-18.

Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked? (Ecclesiastes 7:13).

This exhortation is a call to consider or to reflect upon the providential works of God.  And it is a call, in particular, to look at the things which the Lord has allowed to happen, which appear, from our perspective, to be “crooked,” misshapen, bent, or evil.  We are instructed to consider that no man can ever change those things or make them straight (cf. Ecclesiastes 1:15a: “That which is crooked cannot be made straight”). These "frowning" providences were allowed by God for our good. Turn again to the words of Joseph in Genesis 50:20 and Paul in Romans 8:28.

Charles Bridges comments:

Yet there are many things crooked in man’s eye, because they cross his will, and thwart his own imaginary happiness (p. 154).

When the whole work shall be complete—every particle will seem to have fallen just into its own proper place. And all will then appear One Great Whole every way worthy of God—the eternal manifestation of his glory (Ecclesiastes, p. 155).

Again, we must begin a self-examination: Have I looked back with bitterness at some of the “crooked”places or "frowning" providences in my life? Have I doubted God’s perfect goodness toward me? Have I brought myself to despair or distraction or frustration by thinking that human means might straighten things out which God has made crooked? And instead might I not trust his heart and his word that all has come about—even the crooked things—for his glory and the blessing of man?


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