Dave Burnette's Commentary

Ecclesiastes Chapter 11

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Solomon
Date Penned: (935 BC)
Overview: Wisdom's Lessons from Experience (c 1-12)
Theme: Solomon's Practical Counsel (c 9-12)
Message: Generosity Will be Repaid (v 1-10)

Ecclesiastes 11 Commentary 

(11:1) Risk and Opportunity - In these verses Solomon summarizes that life involves both risk and opportunity. Because life has no guarantees, we must be prepared. But Solomon does not support a stingy, despairing attitude. Just because life is uncertain does not mean we should do nothing. We need a spirit of trust and adventure, facing life's risks and opportunities with God-directed enthusiasm and faith. 

(11:4) Procrastination - Waiting for perfect conditions will mean inactivity. This practical insight is especially applicable to our spiritual lives. If we wait for the perfect time and place for personal Bible reading, we will never begin. If we wait for a perfect church, we will never join. If we wait for the perfect ministry, we will never serve. Take steps now to grow spiritually. Don't wait for conditions that may never exist. 

(11:7-8) Rejoice in the Lord - Solomon is no dreary pessimist in 11:7-12:14. He encourages us to rejoice in every day but to remember that eternity is far longer than a person's life span. Psalm 90:12 says, 'Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." Those who are wise do not just think about the present moment and its impact; they take the long-range view toward eternity. Approach your decisions with God's perspective--consider their impact ten years from now and into eternity. Live with the attitude that although our lives are short, we will live with God forever. 

(11:9-10) Our Choices - People often say, "It doesn't matter." But many of our choices will be irreversible--they will affect us for a lifetime. What we do or have done in our youth does matter. Enjoy life now, but don't do anything physically, morally, or spiritually that will prevent you from enjoying life when you are older.

Dave 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. Our text today shows that generosity and the principle of enjoying life will be repaid. In applying, we see that the Lord is just and reap what we sow for a harvest in due season. Sometimes, we don't see the fruit on the vine, but that does not mean the Harvest is not coming. We need not be fruit inspectors but trust the Lord and Him to bring the Harvest into 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 simply need to sow and trust the Lord for our increase. 


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.