In these verses, the author, traditionally believed to be King Solomon, reflects on the burden or task that God has placed upon humankind. The author acknowledges the challenges and afflictions that human beings face throughout their lives. This burden can refer to the toil, hardships, and various responsibilities that people experience in their earthly existence.
The passage continues by asserting that God has made everything beautiful in its time. It suggests that there is an appropriate time for each event or circumstance under heaven. The idea is that there is an order and purpose to the various seasons and experiences of life. Although not every moment may be pleasant or desirable, there is a divine plan unfolding, and beauty can be found within the context of the appropriate time.
The verse also mentions that God has set eternity in the hearts of humans. This concept alludes to the innate longing and awareness of something beyond the temporal and finite aspects of life. It is a recognition that humans possess a sense of the eternal, a desire for meaning, and a yearning for something greater than themselves.
However, despite this longing for eternity, the verse acknowledges the limitations of human understanding. Man cannot fully comprehend or fathom the entirety of God's work from beginning to end. It implies that there are aspects of God's plan and purpose that remain beyond human grasp and understanding. The vastness of God's wisdom and sovereignty is beyond human comprehension.
In light of these reflections, the passage concludes by emphasizing the importance of rejoicing and doing good. The author recognizes that despite the burden of life, the challenges, and the limitations of human understanding, there is nothing better for human beings than to find joy in their circumstances and to engage in acts of goodness and righteousness.
The exhortation to rejoice and do good is a response to the recognition of God's sovereignty and the acknowledgment that humans cannot fully grasp the intricacies of His plan. It suggests that instead of being consumed by the burdens and uncertainties of life, individuals should find contentment in their present circumstances and actively pursue acts of kindness and righteousness.
In essence, Ecclesiastes 3:10-12 offers a perspective on the nature of time, the burden of human existence, and the limitations of human understanding. It encourages individuals to find beauty within the appropriate timing of life's events, to recognize their innate longing for the eternal, and to embrace a posture of rejoicing and doing good in the face of life's challenges. It reminds us that although we may not comprehend the entirety of God's work, we can find meaning and fulfillment by aligning ourselves with His purposes and engaging in acts of goodness.
See also: vs. 11-12
Ecclesiastes 3:10-12. I have seen the burden which God has given to the sons of men to be afflicted with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in their hearts, yet so that man can’t find out the work that God has done from the beginning even to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice, and to do good as long as they live.