Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun…
Plain people often think that a wise man is a man who knows, if not all things, yet all things to which he has directed his attention. It does not enter into their mind that wisdom lies largely in the consciousness of the limitation of the human powers. A great thinker has justly and beautifully said that the larger the circle of knowledge, the larger the external circumference which reveals itself to the apprehension. The writer of Ecclesiastes was a wise man, but he confesses himself to have been baffled in his endeavor to find out and master all the work of man, and much more the work of God. In this confession he was not singular. The man who knows a little may be vain of his knowledge; but the man who knows much knows full well how much there is which to him is unknown, and how much more is by him unknowable.
I. THE FACT THAT THE THOUGHTFUL MAN IS BAFFLED IN HIS ENDEAVOR TO COMPREHEND GOD'S WAYS, AND TO COMPREHEND HUMAN LIFE AND DESTINY.
II. THIS IS JUST WHAT IS TO BE EXPECTED FROM A CONSIDERATION OF
(1) man's finite nature, and
(2) God's infinite wisdom.
III. THE PROFITABLENESS OF THIS ARRANGEMENT.
1. It tends to raise our thought of God to a juster elevation.
2. It calls forth
(2) submission, and
3. It makes the future infinitely interesting and attractive. What we know not here we shall know hereafter. Sow we know as in a mirror, dimly; then, face to lace.
"Here it is given only to survey
Dawnings of bliss and glimmerings of day;
Heaven's fuller affluence mocks our dazzled sight -
Too swift its radiance and too clear its light." T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea further; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.
WEB: then I saw all the work of God, that man can't find out the work that is done under the sun, because however much a man labors to seek it out, yet he won't find it. Yes even though a wise man thinks he can comprehend it, he won't be able to find it.