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Ecclesiastes 11:6

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

In the morning sow thy seed - Be ready at all times to show mercy; begin in the morning, continue till the evening. Thou knowest not the most worthy object; it is enough that God knoweth; and if thy motive be good, he will applaud and reward thee; not according to the worthiness or unworthiness of the object of thy charity, but according to the motive which induced thee to relieve him.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible
Verses 3-6

“Unforeseen events come from God; and the man who is always gazing on the uncertain future will neither begin nor complete any useful work: but do thou bear in mind that times and circumstances, the powers of nature and the results to which they minister, are in the hand of God; and be both diligent and trustful.” The images are connected chiefly with the occupation of an agricultural laborer: the discharge of rain from the cloud, and the inclination of the falling tree, and the direction of the wind, are beyond his control, though the result of his work is affected by them. The common application of the image of the fallen tree to the state of departed souls was probably not in the mind of the inspired writer.

Ecclesiastes 11:5

Spirit - The same Hebrew word (like πνεῦμα pneuma in Greek and “Spirit” in English) signifies both the wind Ecclesiastes 11:4 and the Spirit (compare marginal reference). The Old Testament in many places recognizes the special operation of God Job 10:8-12; Psalm 139:13-16; Jeremiah 1:5, and distinctly of the Spirit of God Job 31:15 in the origination of every child. Compare Genesis 2:7.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Solomon presses the rich to do good to others. Give freely, though it may seem thrown away and lost. Give to many. Excuse not thyself with the good thou hast done, from the good thou hast further to do. It is not lost, but well laid out. We have reason to expect evil, for we are born to trouble; it is wisdom to do good in the day of prosperity. Riches cannot profit us, if we do not benefit others. Every man must labour to be a blessing to that place where the providence of God casts him. Wherever we are, we may find good work to do, if we have but hearts to do it. If we magnify every little difficulty, start objections, and fancy hardships, we shall never go on, much less go through with our work. Winds and clouds of tribulation are, in God's hands, designed to try us. God's work shall agree with his word, whether we see it or not. And we may well trust God to provide for us, without our anxious, disquieting cares. Be not weary in well-doing, for in due season, in God's time, you shall reap, Ga 6:9.
Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, 209

Now is the time to use means for God. Now is the time to be rich in good works, laying up in store for ourselves a good foundation against the time to come, that we may lay hold on eternal life. One soul saved in the kingdom of God is of more value than all earthly riches. We are answerable to God for the souls of those with whom we are brought in contact, and the closer our connections with our fellow men the greater our responsibility. We are one great brotherhood, and the welfare of our fellow men should be our great interest. We have not one moment to lose. If we have been careless in this matter, it is high time we were now in earnest to redeem the time, lest the blood of souls be found on our garments. As children of God, none of us are excused from taking a part in the great work of Christ in the salvation of our fellow men. 3T 209.1

It will be a difficult work to overcome prejudice and to convince the unbelieving that our efforts to help them are disinterested. But this should not hinder our labor. There is no precept in the word of God that tells us to do good to those only who appreciate and respond to our efforts, and to benefit those only who will thank us for it. God has sent us to work in His vineyard. It is our business to do all we can. “In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that.” We have too little faith. We limit the Holy One of Israel. We should be grateful that God condescends to use any of us as His instruments. For every earnest prayer put up in faith for anything, answers will be returned. They may not come just as we have expected; but they will come, not perhaps as we have devised, but at the very time when we most need them. But, oh, how sinful is our unbelief! “If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” 3T 209.2

Young men who are engaged in this work should not trust too much to their own abilities. They are inexperienced and should seek to learn wisdom from those who have had long experience in the work and who have had opportunities to study character. 3T 209.3

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Ellen G. White
Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, 213-4

There has been a slothful neglect and a criminal unbelief among us as a people, which has kept us back from doing the work God has left us to do in letting our light shine forth to those of other nations. There is a fearfulness to venture out and to run risks in this great work, fearing that the expenditure of means would not bring returns. What if means are used and yet we cannot see that souls have been saved by it? What if there is a dead loss of a portion of our means? Better work and keep at work than to do nothing. You know not which shall prosper, this or that. LS 213.1

God will have men who will venture anything and everything to save souls. Those who will not move until they can see every step of the way clearly before them, will not be of advantage at this time to forward the truth of God. There must be workers now who will push ahead in the dark as well as in the light, and who will hold up bravely under discouragements and disappointed hopes, and yet work on with faith, with tears and patient hope, sowing beside all waters, trusting the Lord to bring the increase. God calls for men of nerve, of hope, faith, and endurance, to work to the point. LS 213.2

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Ellen G. White
Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, 207

It will be a difficult work to overcome prejudice, and to convince the unbelieving that our efforts to help them are disinterested. But this should not hinder our labor. There is no precept in the word of God that tells us to do good to those only who appreciate and respond to our efforts, and to benefit those only who will thank us for it. God has sent us to work in His vineyard. It is our business to do all we can. “In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that.” Ecclesiastes 11:6. LS 207.1

We have too little faith. We limit the Holy One of Israel. We should be grateful that God condescends to use any of us as His instruments. For every earnest prayer put up in faith for anything, answers will be returned. They may not come just as we have expected; but they will come—not perhaps as we have devised, but at the very time when we most need them. But, oh, how sinful is our unbelief! “If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” John 15:7. LS 207.2

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Ellen G. White
Evangelism, 62

Shall we not advance in faith, just as if we had thousands of dollars? We do not have half faith enough. Let us act our part in warning these cities. The warning message must come to the people who are ready to perish, unwarned, unsaved. How can we delay? As we advance, the means will come. But we must advance by faith, trusting in the Lord God of Israel. Ev 62.1

Night after night I am unable to sleep, because of this burden resting upon me in behalf of the unwarned cities. Night after night I am praying and trying to devise methods by which we can enter these cities and give the warning message. Why, there is a world to be warned and saved, and we are to go East and West and North and South, and work intelligently for the people all about us. As we undertake this work, we shall see the salvation of God. Encouragement will come.—Manuscript 53, 1909. Ev 62.2

Follow God's Opening Providence—If we would follow the opening providence of God, we should be quick to discern every opening, and make the most of every advantage within our reach.... There is a fearfulness to venture out and run risks in this great work, fearing that the expenditure of means would not bring returns. What if means are used and yet we cannot see that souls have been saved by it? What if there is a dead loss of a portion of our means? Better work and keep at work than to do nothing. You know not which shall prosper—this or that. Ev 62.3

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