38 “So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; 39 but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God.” (Acts 5:38–39, NASB)
Rabbi Gamaliel gave sound advice to the Jewish council members, some of whom “plotted to kill” the apostles (Acts 5:33). We never win when we fight against the purposes of God – we always lose. As Jesus told Saul during His appearance to him on the road to Damascus, “It is hard for you to kick against the goads” (Acts 9:5). Yet, people still fight against God’s word, His truth and His purposes. For example, Christ said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mk. 16:16). But, many reply, “He who believes is saved and will be baptized.” Again, God said, “you have fallen from grace” (Gal. 5:4). But many say, “you cannot fall from grace.” And again, God said, “You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only” (Jas. 2:24). Yet, many say one is justified by “faith only.” Sadly, all these fight against God. It is a losing battle. Stand with God and His word, and do not “be found fighting against God.”
To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: (Ecclesiastes 3:1, NKJV)
Divine Providence has arranged life on earth with its own symmetry. Life and death, planting and harvest, weeping and laughter all illustrate the portion and occasion of things “under the sun.” Yet, acknowledging life’s symmetry (and at times, its paradoxes) does not give ultimate satisfaction or meaning to life. “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end” (Eccl. 3:11). Only by trusting the purposes of God and submitting obediently to Him will one ascend to the ultimate purpose and meaning of life which God has given us (Eccl. 12:13).
8 All things are full of labor; Man cannot express it. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, Nor the ear filled with hearing. 9 That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun. 10 Is there anything of which it may be said, “See, this is new”? It has already been in ancient times before us. (Ecclesiastes 1:8-10)
The old adage rings true, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Life “under the sun” brings nothing that is truly new. Human beings have benefited from labor since the beginning of the creation, yet it is obvious that labor does not satisfy every longing of the heart. This is not said to discount labor, but to emphasize that expecting to meet all of one’s desires through labor is unrealistic. There remains a yearning for something more – to know more, to be more – that labor does not fill. The purpose of your life and the satisfaction for which you yearn will be found when you fear God and keep His commandments (Ecclesiastes 12:13).