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Ecclesiastes 3:11

Ecclesiastes 3:11

He hath made every [thing] beautiful in his time
That is, God has made everything; as all things in creation are made by him, for his pleasure and glory, and all well and wisely, there is a beauty in them all: so all things in providence; he upholds all things; he governs and orders all things according to the counsel of his will; some things are done immediately by him, others by instruments, and some are only permitted by him; some he does himself, some he wills to be done by others, and some he suffers to be done; but in all there is a beauty and harmony; and all are ordered, disposed, and overruled, to answer the wisest and greatest purposes; everything is done in the time in which he wills it shall; be done, and done in the time most fit and suitable for it to be done; all things before mentioned, for which there is a time, and all others: all natural things are beautiful in their season; things in summer, winter, spring, and autumn; frost and snow in winter, and heat in summer; darkness and dews in the night, and light and brightness in the day; and so in ten thousand other things: all afflictive dispensations of Providence; times of plucking up and breaking down of weeping and mourning, of losing and casting away are all necessary, and seasonable and beautiful, in their issue and consequences: prosperity and adversity, in their turns, make a beautiful checker work, and work together for good; are like Joseph's coat, of many colours, which was an emblem of those various providences which attended that good man; and were extremely beautiful, as are all the providences of God to men: and all his judgments will be, when made manifest; when he shall have performed his whole work, and the mystery of God in providence will be finished; which is like a piece of tapestry; when only viewed in parts no beauty appears in it, scarce any thing to be made of it but when all is put together, it is most beautiful and harmonious. The words may be rendered, "the beautiful One hath made all things in his time" F13; the Messiah; who, as a divine Person, is the brightness of his Father's glory; as man, is fairer than the sons, of Adam; as Mediator, is full of grace and truth; is white and ruddy, altogether lovely, exceeding precious to his people: this fair and lovely One has made all things in creation; works with his Father in the affairs of providence; and has done all things well in grace and redemption, ( John 1:2 ) ( 5:17 ) ( Mark 7:37 ) ; also he hath set the world in their heart; so that no man can find out
the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end;
not a sinful love of the world, and the things of it; not a criminal desire after them, and a carking care for them, whereby persons have no heart and inclination, time and leisure, to search into and find out the works of God; for though all this is in the heart of the sons of men, yet, not placed, there by the Lord: nor an opinion of living for ever; of a long time in this world, the word for "world" having the signification of perpetuity in it; so that they regard not, the work of the Lord, nor the operations of his hands, tomorrow being with them as this day, and much more abundant; but this sense meets with the same difficulty as the former. Rather the meaning is, that God hath set before the minds of men, and in them, the whole world of creatures, the whole book of nature, in which they may see and read much of the wisdom power, and goodness of God in his works; and to some he gives an inclination and desire hereunto; but yet the subject before them is so copious, there is such a world of matter presented to them, and their capacity so small, and life so short, that they cannot all their days find out the works of God, either of creation or providence, to perfection; or find out what God works, from the beginning of the world to the end of it; for, of what he has wrought, but a small portion is known by them, and they know less still what shall be done hereafter: some of God's works of providence are set on foot and but begun in the life of some men; they do not live to see them finished, and therefore cannot find them out; and others are so dark and obscure, that they are obliged to say, "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" see ( Romans 1:19 Romans 1:20 ) ( 11:33 ) ; and though everything is beautiful in its time, yet till they are made manifest, and all viewed together; they will not be perfectly understood, or the beauty of them seen, ( Revelation 15:4 ) . For God has put something "hidden", or "sealed up", in the midst of them, as it may be rendered F14, so that they cannot be perfectly known.


FOOTNOTES:

F13 (wteb hpy hve lkh ta) "haec omnia facit pulcher in tempore suo, i.e. Messias"; so some in Rambachius.
F14 Vid. Schultens de Defect. Hod. Ling. Heb. s. 180.
Read Ecclesiastes 3:11