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Matthew Henry's Commentary

Ecclesiastes Chapter 11

xhortation to liberality. (1-6) An admonition to prepare for death, and to young persons to be religious. (7-10)

Verses 1-6: Solomon presses the rich to do good to others. Give freely, though it may seem thrown away and lost. Give to many. Excuse not thyself with the good thou hast done, from the good thou hast further to do. It is not lost, but well laid out. We have reason to expect evil, for we are born to trouble; it is wisdom to do good in the day of prosperity. Riches cannot profit us, if we do not benefit others. Every man must labour to be a blessing to that place where the providence of God casts him. Wherever we are, we may find good work to do, if we have but hearts to do it. If we magnify every little difficulty, start objections, and fancy hardships, we shall never go on, much less go through with our work. Winds and clouds of tribulation are, in God's hands, designed to try us. God's work shall agree with his word, whether we see it or not. And we may well trust God to provide for us, without our anxious, disquieting cares. Be not weary in well-doing, for in due season, in God's time, you shall reap, (Ga 6:9).

Verses 7-10: Life is sweet to bad men, because they have their portion in this life; it is sweet to good men, because it is the time of preparation for a better; it is sweet to all. Here is a caution to think of death, even when life is most sweet. Solomon makes an effecting address to young persons. They would desire opportunity to pursue every pleasure. Then follow your desires, but be assured that God will call you into judgment. How many give loose to every appetite, and rush into every vicious pleasure! But God registers every one of their sinful thoughts and desires, their idle words and wicked words. If they would avoid remorse and terror, if they would have hope and comfort on a dying bed, if they would escape misery here and hereafter, let them remember the vanity of youthful pleasures. That Solomon means to condemn the pleasures of sin is evident. His object is to draw the young to purer and more lasting joys. This is not the language of one grudging youthful pleasures, because he can no longer partake of them; but of one who has, by a miracle of mercy, been brought back in safety. He would persuade the young from trying a course whence so few return. If the young would live a life of true happiness, if they would secure happiness hereafter, let them remember their Creator in the days of their youth.


David Burnette's Life Application

The Harvest

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the Book of Ecclesiastes with Chapter 11. In our text today we see that generosity will be repaid and the principle of enjoying life fully. In making application we see that the Lord is just and we reap what we sow for a harvest in due season. At times we don't see the fruit on the vine but that does not mean the harvest is not coming. That being said we need not be fruit inspectors but simply trust in the Lord and Him to bring the Harvest in our lives. How about you? Do you get discouraged when you don't see fruit on the vine? Let us learn from our text today to remember that we reap what we sow and we simply need to sow and trust the Lord for our increase. 

 

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Ecclesiastes 11

Ecclesiastes 11

 1Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.

 2Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth.

 3If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.

 4He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.

 5As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.

 6In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.

 7Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun:

 8But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many. All that cometh is vanity.

 9Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.

 10Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity.