The uncertainty of life (Eccl 11:1-11:3)

“Send out your bread upon the waters.

After many days

You will get it back.

Divide your means seven ways,

Or even eight.

You do not know

What disaster may happen on earth.

When clouds are full,

They empty rain on the earth.

Whether a tree falls to the south

Or to the north,

In the place where the tree falls,

There it will lie.”

Qoheleth reminds us of the uncertainty of life itself. He wanted people to put their bread on the waters. He wanted people to take chances because it might return to them with some kind of profit. You should not keep all your eggs in one basket. You should spread out your resources into 7 or 8 places. You never know when some disaster might hit. The clouds could send rain. When a tree falls, no matter in what direction, it will lie there where it fell.

Job realizes that he has no help (Job 6:8-6:13)

“O that I might have my request!

That God would grant my desire!

That it would please God to crush me!

That he would let loose his hand!

That he would cut me off!

This would be my consolation.

I would even exult in unrelenting pain.

I have not denied the words of the Holy One.

What is my strength?

Why should I wait?

What is my end?

Why should I be patient?

Is my strength the strength of stones?

Is my flesh bronze?

In truth,

I have no help in me.

Any resource is driven from me.”

Job has one request, to be crushed by God. Death would be preferred to his present situation. He has never denied the words of the Holy One, God, without explaining what these words were. Then he asked a series of questions. What is his strength that he should wait longer? What is his end and why should he be patient? Does he have the strength of stones and the flesh of bronze? These sarcastic questions led him to realize he had no help. All his resources were gone. He sounded like a crushed man. He seemed like he had been abandoned by everybody. In fact, it seems like this is the impatient Job, not the hero of patience.