Focal passage: Ecclesiastes 11:1-6
Mark Twain addressed financial investing in his novel Pudd’nhead Wilson when he wrote, “October: This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August and February.”
Those words were written over 100 years ago, but the topic is still a hot one. Scroll through your cable television channels this evening, and you will inevitably stumble upon a commentator enthusiastically describing the benefits of investing. They claim that if you follow their advice, your finances will multiply and your future will be secure.
I’m convinced these men and women are very knowledgeable, but have you ever considered that God’s Word, a much more trustworthy resource, also provides instruction for financial planning?
Written by King Solomon near the end of his life, the book of Ecclesiastes contains a great deal of practical wisdom. In chapter 11, we find specific instructions regarding preparing financially for the years ahead. Solomon encourages long term and diversified investing, telling his readers to “divide your portion to seven, or even to eight” (Ecclesiastes 11:2).
One motivation for diversification is the unpredictable nature of the world in which we live. Only God knows what will happen tomorrow, much less what will happen in several decades, and we would be remiss to place all our resources in any one of these opportunities. They all have the potential to be disastrous.
And yet, Solomon cautions that focusing our attention on this uncertainty can paralyze us.
He writes, “the person who watches the wind will not sow and he who looks at the clouds will not reap” (Ecclesiastes 11:4). Yes, the future is unclear, but we must not stop investing because of fear or despair. We must press on, working and trusting in “God who makes all things” (Ecclesiastes 11:5).
He alone is our foundation and the One who entrusted us with these resources in the beginning.