Consider the Work of God
This Sunday I'll be preaching from Ecclesiastes 6:10-7:14. As we've been working through this series at 2 Pillars Near South, one of my favorite resources has been Zack Eswine's excellent work from The Gospel According to the Old Testament commentary series (P&R Publishing).
The below is an excerpt from his words on the passage I'll be preaching this Sunday. As a preacher, sometimes you come across stuff that is written too well to rip off, tweak, and make your own... and yet simultaneously too good to not pass along to others.
Eswine is masterful in his prose and I encourage you to read this slowly and ponder what it means to "consider the work of God" in this life, under the sun:
"Daily life under the sun is infested with the loveless schemes of human beings. The character and purposes of God shine like an eclipsed sun, radiating light and heat and hidden from view by what looks like dark shadow and feels like cold.
Beneath the shadows, what do you do? Start admitting your inabilities and instead throw your thoughts and affections in God’s direction. You cannot fix most of what is broken. Unlike mechanical parts and unglued wood, the crooked parts of the people, the places, and the circumstances that you will encounter today are beyond your ability to repair. In contrast, the work of God constantly shows us that broken bones can dance again in him. For this reason, your main task each day is to learn how to contemplate each thing you experience in light of who God is and what God does. The Preacher says it this way: “Consider the work of God: who can make straight what he has made crooked?” (Eccl. 7:13). “Consider” means pay attention. You will want to lose focus. Or you will want to pay all of your attention to the works of men and women—scouring these human works beneath the dark and the shadow for a power big enough to make straight what breaks you and your neighbors. You can try this. God will let you. But it won’t ultimately help you. Learn to pay attention to God. Turn your mediations to his work. Take your crooked things and set them in his presence."
-Zack Eswine, Recovering Eden: The Gospel According to Ecclesiastes, p188-189