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The Scriptorium

Not the Way it’s Supposed to Be

Ecclesiastes 7.15

15I have seen everything in my days of vanity:
There is a just
manwho perishes in his righteousness,
And there is a wicked
manwho prolongs lifein his wickedness.

The Story:Let’s remember: God is sovereign, and God is an unending source of joy, come what may. Very often in life it seems as though justice is elusive. Things don’t work out the way we think they should. The rich get rich and the poor get poorer. Good men die young. “The best lack all conviction,/while the worst are filled with passionate intensity” (Yeats). This is how Solomon saw things in his “days of vanity”, that is, while he was wandering from God and trying to make sense of things apart from God. But apart from God life seems only vain, wrong, and not the way it’s supposed to be. However, “under the heavens”, we know that there is a time and a place for everything. We even understand why the things that “aren’t supposed to be” actually are. And even though we can’t always understand whythings happen the way they do, we trust in the Lord, Who rules all things and is infinitely wise and good (Eccl. 3). If you try to make sense of life “under the sun” you’ll only end up despairing.

The Structure:There is no escaping the powerful effects of sin on every aspect of human life. Sin not only resides in the souls of men; it pervades all they do, as well as the creation itself. The believer understands this; however, he is not content with it. Thus, he engages all his relationships, roles, and responsibilities in an effort to reconcile all things back to God (2 Cor. 5.18-20). And, while we know we cannot attain complete reconciliation in this life, we keep our eyes on Jesus (Heb. 2.9) and look forward to – and actually live toward– the day of full reconciliation when our lives “under the heavens” will become life in the new heavens and new earth, where righteousness dwells.

How would you describe the state of this work of reconciliation in your own life? Are you consciously working to bring every aspect of your life, and everything in your sphere of influence, back into a proper relationship with God?

Each week’s studies in our Scriptorium column are available in a free PDF form, suitable for personal or group use. For this week’s study, “Telling it Slant (2),” simply click here.


T. M. Moore

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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