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One of the favorite hobbies of Christians is also one of the most dangerous things we can do: interpreting providence apart from divine revelation. Consider these examples: Acts 12; 28:1-6; John 9:1-3; Luke 13:1-5.

A.            Reading Providence - 9:1-12

1.             The uncertainty of the future - 9:1

He is not saying that the believer is unsure whether God might love him today and hate him tomorrow. Rather, his point is that "no one can tell just by God's treatment of particular individuals whether they are objects of God's love or hatred" (Kaiser, 94). Prosperity is not necessarily a sign of God's favor and adversity is not necessarily a sign of his anger.

2.             The inevitability of death - 9:2-6

a.              death for all - vv. 2-3

The point is that the righteous are not visibly favored by providence when it comes to death nor are the unrighteous visibly rebuked. Death comes indiscriminately on all. To all outward appearances, God just isn't interested.

b.             the profit in living - v. 4

c.              the finality of death - vv. 5-6

3.             The enjoyment of life - 9:7-10

Don't let the grief and worry and puzzles and frustrations and unresolved perplexities of life rob you of the joy it can bring. God intends for you to make the most of your time on earth.

[The exhortation in v. 10 is similar to the counsel in 11:1-6]

4.             Concluding observations - 9:11-12

a.              success and failure are unpredictable - v. 11

b.             evil and death are unpredictable - v. 12

B.            Treasuring Wisdom - 9:13-18

[Chapter 10 is a series of proverbial statements on wisdom and folly.]