Solomon commends diversification, risk-taking, and personal industry as ways to counter the unpredictable events of life. He also admonishes readers to seek God in their youth.
You Do Not Know
Four times this phrase appears in Ecclesiastes 11, emphasizing our inability to foresee the future. Seeing this limitation, Solomon offers guidance for protecting yourself against loss.
Ecclesiastes 11 Outline
Prepare for life’s uncertainties
Diversify your efforts
Be continually industrious
Affirm the joys of life
Make every moment count
Seek God when you are young
Cast your bread upon the waters.
This word picture depicts a farmer casting grain into flooded soil. When the flood or irrigation waters recede, the grain grows to yield a bountiful harvest.
Two schools of interpretation are applied to this proverb. The traditional view is that we should sow charity in faith. Our benevolence will return to us, perhaps when we are in need. See Proverbs 3:9-10, 19:17, 28:27, and Luke 6:38.
The contemporary view is that we should diversify our assets. In other words, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. If calamity strikes one of your assets, you won’t loose it all.