The New King James Version reads, “Whatever one is, he has been named already, for it is known that he is man; and he cannot contend with Him who is mightier than he.” Throughout this book King Solomon has been examining everything “under the sun” and trying to make sense of it all. He has reflected on all kinds of men; rich and poor, wicked and righteous, old and young, and wise and foolish. In this verse he concludes that “whatever one is” (whatever their character or position in life is), he shares one thing in common with all men; “he is merely a man.” When God created the First Man He named him “Adam,” which means “red clay.” He was formed “of the earth” as we see in Genesis 2:7, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground.” Not only that, but when he dies he will “return to the dust” for Genesis 3:19 declares, “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for DUST YOU ARE, and TO DUST YOU SHALL RETURN.” So, all men are, by the very nature of their creation, WEAK. God reminds us of this in Psalm 103:14-16, “For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.”

But man is prone to forget his weakness and in his “supposed wisdom” he argues with His creator. He questions God’s wisdom with questions like “Why did you allow my loved one to die?” or “Why didn’t You allow me to get the job I wanted?” or even worse, “Why did you make me the way you did?” We actually see this last question stated in Romans 9:20, “But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why have you made me like this’?” Solomon brings out in our verse that arguing with God is futile, “he (man) cannot contend with Him who is mightier than he.” He isn’t saying “you can’t contend with God”; he is saying “you can’t contend with God and win the argument,” for God is “mightier than man.” He is an all-powerful, all-wise and all-loving God and whatever He does is for His glory and for our good. Our place is to acknowledge that truth and give Him His rightful place as our Creator, instead of arguing with Him as if we know best.

I would like to also quote verse 12 to illustrate the truth we’ve been musing on. It says, “For who knows what is good for man in life, all the days of his vain life which he passes like a shadow? Who can tell a man what will happen after him under the sun?” I had said earlier that men argue with God because they think they know what is best for their lives, but this verse dispels that myth, for no one really knows “what is good for man in life.” But God does! So let’s “let God be God” and allow Him to show us what’s best for our lives and we shall surely be blessed if we do. (282.3) (DO)