Eternity in our Hearts

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 3:11, ‘[God] has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.’


Observations: What does Solomon mean when he says that God has set ‘eternity in the hearts of men?’ The word translated here as ‘eternity’ is the Hebrew word ‘owlām, which can mean ancient, or lasting, but usually means everlasting or forever. Solomon’s point is that God has placed in our hearts an understanding that there is more to our existence than just this life. In the Old Testament this belief was less defined. The afterlife was called sheol, ‘the grave,’ which was an uncertain shadowy existence. The Bible also mentions mediums who communed with the dead (1 Sam 28:7; 2 Kgs 21:6; Isa 8:19; Lev 19:31). But Solomon’s point is: even though we know that there is life after death, we ‘cannot fathom what God has done from the beginning to end.’ We weren’t there in the distant past when God created the world, we don’t know his plans. And we don’t know what God has planned for the future and how everything will pan out. Solomon’s point is that we might know that there is more, but we don’t know what that will look like. And even though God has revealed so much more in Scripture since the time of Solomon, the truth is God still doesn’t reveal everything that he is doing in our lives or in the world around us.


Application: We look to the future, but we don’t know what it will look like, or how we will get there. But there is one who does know the future, God, and we can trust that he knows what it looks like and he knows how we will get there. We can trust that God is in control of all eternity, and that for those who put their trust in Jesus that future will be glorious, and he will get us there. God has placed in your heart a longing that there is something more than just this life, and in Christ God has assured you that you will spend eternity with him.


Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You that You have given me hope that there is something more just this life, and I thank You for revealing what that more is in Your Word. Lord,  my hope is that one day I will see You face to face, and all things will be made new and right, that there will be no more tears, or sin, or darkness. But Lord, I don’t know the journey that I will take between now and then, but I do know that You are faithful, and that You will uphold me until that time. Lord, I know that I have a home in eternity, and that You will bring me home. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


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