In our devotional today, Solomon kicks off the 9th Chapter of Ecclesiastes by reminding us that only God knows the future, and we cannot know what is going to happen or when it is going to happen.
Ecc 9:1 For I have taken all this to my heart and explain it that righteous men, wise men, and their deeds are in the hand of God. Man does not know whether it will be love or hatred; anything awaits him.
Have you ever heard the phrase; truth is stranger than fiction?
A lot of times we escape reality by watching movies or reading books, but more often than not a news story will emerge that is absolutely mind blowing, one of those things that man cannot explain.
One such event happened 10 years ago, the Penn State scandal and the death of Joe Paterno.
Joe Paterno was the head coach of the Penn State Football team for 45 years, and was widely considered the most ethical coaches that ever walked the sidelines. His players loved him, his fans adored him. He wouldn’t allow them to play if they didn’t have certain GPA’s, he made them say the Lord’s prayer before every game, in short, he was considered a very honest man throughout his career.
Then in 2011, a scandal broke that one of his previous assistants had been molesting young boys, and also alleged that Paterno knew about it and didn’t speak up about it. Within a week, his storied coaching career came crashing down on him. He was fired, his winning record was taken away from him, and then 3 months later, he died of cancer. It was a sad end to a life that was seemingly built on ethics, a greek tragedy couldn’t have been more dramatic.
The Paterno fall, is a specific example, of how we don’t know what the future holds, and only God does.
While bad things may happen to good people or vice versa in this world, we do however have an eternal hope in The Gospel. Whatever happens in this life, good or bad, and otherwise unexplainable, we still have Christ’ whom we can put our trust and hope in. His work and His love are what guarantee us eternity in the next life, as Christ tells us, He knows His sheep and His sheep know Him. He reminds us in John Chapter 10 verse 29: “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.
So while Solomon is racking his brain, wondering what the future in this life holds for anyone, Christ tells us in The Gospel of John, that our salvation is guaranteed when we put our trust in Him, and nothing and no one here on earth can take that away.
A great reassurance for us when find ourselves stumbling and bumbling in this life. Bad things may happen, but when we trust in Christ, we are His forever.