Ecclesiastes 11:1 Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. 2 Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth. 3 If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be. 4 He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.
Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.
I find it interesting that the word waters in the passage refers to something that is moving…not standing still. How many times as a child did you enjoy throwing your coin into the “wishing” well. And look down and be able to see your coin laying there, glistening in the sun and it wasn’t going anywhere…ever! But let someone ask you to throw it into the river…and forget it! You’ll lose sight of it the moment you let go of it and who knows where it will turn up. But that’s exactly what God wants us to do! He wants us to sow into a ministry that’s moving, not to the stagnant safe waters. The sad truth is, if we sow into those still waters…all we will ever do is “wish” for a harvest. But who knows where you’ll be when you have need of that seed you had sown into that river…and find you’re in a place where it had been and look what washed up, just when you needed it most! In fact, one of the translations of the word find is to be secure. So to sow a seed now…even into moving waters…is to be secure later!
He that observeth the wind shall not sow;
One translation of that word “wind” is the seat of emotion and refers to desire, sorrow or trouble. So another words, he that observes his mind, will and emotions shall not sow. It all depends upon the sower’s mood and what the sower thinks and what the sower determines to be safe…right? Well, then, the sower thinks he is the source and not God! We need to be careful of attitudes like, “I’m having a bad day…why bother? God only loves a cheerful giver, right?” or “I’m on cloud nine. Things are real comfy here! Why change anything by giving up money that can cater to me later?” The bible clearly says that God gives seed to the sower. (2 Corinthians 9:10) There is no way the sower can ever produce the seed himself, let alone reap a harvest. The Word also says “So neither is he who plants is anything, nor he who waters but God who gives the increase! (1 Corinthians 3:7) So today, sow with your heart…not your head.
…and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.
The word “regard” speaks of vision…to see, look at, inspect, perceive or to consider. And cloud here, actually is “becloud”…a word that refers to anything that will prevent clear perception or realization of something. So, read the latter part of verse 4 like this. He that looks at or allows the cloud of the current circumstance that prevents a clear perception or realization of the true picture God has for his life shall not reap. The truth of it is, a circumstance is nothing more than an incident…an occurrence that lasts only briefly and is of secondary importance. So I guess the real question is, why should we regard the clouds…these things that occur only briefly and can claim no real eternal stake in regard to the vision? Why should we settle for second best…what is secondary in importance compared to what really matters when it comes to God’s plan and desired outcome for us? Good question.
If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.
There it shall be! What? The tree? No, your seed! In other words, you never know what the circumstance may be but if the clouds cover the earth and pour out the rain…your seed is in the ground to be watered. And if something you have been depending on falls short of what you expected, then thank God, your seed is in the ground…ready to produce yet another tree of provision.
Give! Give smiling! Give frowning! Give when you have much! Give when you nothing! Give because circumstances come and go but the only thing that remains is seed, time and harvest!