There is a futility that is done on the earth: there are righteous people who get what the actions of the wicked deserve, and there are wicked people who get what the actions of the righteous deserve. I say that this too is futile. So I commended enjoyment, because there is nothing better for man under the sun except to eat, drink, and enjoy himself, for this will accompany him in his labor during the years of his days that God gives him under the sun. When I applied my mind to know wisdom and to observe the activity that is done on the earth (even though one’s eyes do not close in sleep day or night), I observed all the work of God [and concluded] that man is unable to discover the work that is done under the sun. Even though a man labors hard to explore it, he cannot find it; even if the wise man claims to know it, he is unable to discover it. Eccl 8:14-17 (HCSB)
Why do bad things happen to seemingly good people, innocent people? Why are seemingly bad people allowed to have what appear to be good things happen to them? Why does it seem the world is turned upside down with the way rewards are distributed? Of course, are any of us able to discern God’s motives for how His blessings are dispensed? Do we understand the mind of God and understand His purposes and plans?
Solomon’s advice does make a lot of sense when he declares: there is nothing better for man under the sun except to eat, drink, and enjoy himself. I believe what we must learn about life is that we must accept what we are responsible for and not fret over the lives of others and the events we cannot control.
Godly humility applauds those who seemingly are rewarded with blessings even when such rewards do not seem appropriate in our eyes. Why? Because, we must not be jealous for what happens to others. If we believe in God’s justice and mercy, should there be any reason for our envy or criticism? There is so much in this lifetime we are never meant to understand, and though we may pray for understanding, there is much that is beyond our grasp. The only ultimate wisdom we can attain in this lifetime is the wisdom to know and accept we can never know all there is to know, and in that simple fact resides the most valuable piece of wisdom we can learn, and there godly humility resides.
Remember, in the end of all things, we will only be held accountable to God, our Judge, for what we did with what He allowed us to experience in this life. We will not be held accountable for what others did, only how we responded to what they did. Therefore, our attitude must be that of Christ’s: as one seeking God’s will, God’s ways, and God’s wisdom according to God’s Word. Our prayers must be not to try to find justice in the lives of others, but to understand how we must respond to such matters, especially when we clearly do not understand. God has such a broader and deeper perspective on the comings and goings in life that is well beyond our ability to see and understand, and ultimately our faith should declare God’s good and perfect purpose will prevail through even the events that seem unjust to us. What we should pray for is God’s perspective on these matters so that we may humbly reside in peace with everyone, then we can walk through life focused on what matters the most: our personal relationship with God, and leave the rest up to Him.
If you do [what is] good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do [what is] good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is gracious to the ungrateful and evil. Be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. Luke 6:33-36 (HCSB)