God Has Ordained the Ebb and Flow of Human Activities

1 For everything there [is] an appointed time, a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to bear and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to root up [what is] planted;
3 a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to break down and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance;
5 a time to throw away stones and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek and a time to lose; a time to keep and a time to throw away;
7 a time to tear and a time to sew; a time to be silent and a time to speak;
8 a time to love and a time to hate; a time [for] war and a time [for] peace.
9 What does the worker gain in his toil?

No One Understands God’s Mysterious Plan

10 I have seen the busyness God gives to {humans} to preoccupy them.
11 He has made everything suitable in its time. He also has put {the past} in their hearts, yet no one can grasp what God does from the beginning to the end.
12 So I realized that there is {nothing better} for them than to {rejoice and enjoy themselves} during their lives.
13 And for anyone to eat and drink, that is, {to enjoy the fruit of all his toil}, this also is a gift of God.
14 I know everything God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, and nothing can be taken from it, for God so acts that humans might stand in awe before him.
15 What is--it already was, and what will be--it already is, for {God will do what he has done.}

God’s Mysterious Plan Allows Injustice to Exist in the World

16 I saw something else under the sun: instead of justice [there was] evil; instead of righteousness [there was] wickedness.
17 So I said {to myself}, "God will surely judge the righteous and the wicked, for he has appointed a time [of judgment] for every deed and every work."
18 I said to myself concerning {humans}, "God sifts them in order to show them that they are like beasts."
19 For the fate of {humans} and the fate of the beast is {the same}. The death of the one is like the death of the other, for {both are mortal}. Man has no advantage over the beast, for both are fleeting.
20 Both go to one place--both came from dust and both return to dust.
21 For no one knows [whether] the spirit of a human ascends [to heaven] and [whether] the spirit of the beast descends to the ground!
22 So I concluded that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy [the fruit of] his labor, for this is his lot in life. {For no one knows what will happen in the future.}