ESV - 15 That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God seeks what has been driven away.
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The meaning of the verse is that there is a connection between events - past, present and future - and that this connection exists in the justice of God who controls all. Whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever. This is true as far as the plan of God for mankind is concerned (Acts 15:18), but regarding free and intelligent acts of individuals, He changes according to their conformity or nonconformity to His eternal plan. The whole gospel program is based upon voluntary obedience to the Word of God. Obedience brings salvation and blessings, but disobedience results in eternal damnation (Mk. 16:15-16 Jn. 3:16; 1Tim. 2:4-5 2Pet. 3:9; Rev. 22:17). God is always adding blessings and rewards to those who obey, but taking away from those who disobey (Mt. 13:12; 2Pet. 1:4-9). Notes For Verse 15 For things that requireth that which is past, please refer in Mt. 16:27; 2Cor. 5:9-20; Rev. 20:11-15. Solomon saw injustices in the place of judgment and had to acknowledge that sin was there. He concluded that it would take God, the righteous Judge, to give absolute justice (Eccl. 3:16-17 Mt. 16:27; Acts 17:31; 2Cor. 5:9-10 Rev. 20:11-15). God shall judge the righteous and the wicked. This judgment of both the righteous and the wicked is fair and just. Why should the righteous not be judged? How could they receive or lose rewards if they were never judged for the good and bad things done in life? The popular theory that God will judge the righteous for their good deeds only, for the purpose of giving them reward, is false. Both saints and sinners are to be judged for the bad deeds committed in the body during a lifetime, as well as for the good things (Mt. 10:40-42; 16:27; Rom. 14:10; 2Cor. 5:9-10).
In my opinion, Solomon in this passage is speaking of the recurring or cyclical nature of events that he has observed occurring over time. If something that has happened seems to be part of the past (that is, if it seems to have been "driven away"), God will "seek it", so that that same type of event will happen again in the future. It is somewhat the same thought that he expressed in Ecclesiastes 1:9, when he said, "What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun."
“I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. 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….” “I know that whatever God does, It shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him. That which is has already been, and what is to be has already been; and God requires an account of what is past.” King Solomon, Ecclesiastes 3:10-11, and Ecclesiastes 3:14-15 (NKJV). He concludes with: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man's all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.” Is it possible to know the depths of God’s plan? To a certain extent, it is. We, as believers, are His workmanship (Eph. 2:10), being transformed into His Son’s image, but “every work” includes “that which has already been”. Proverbs 25:2 reads, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.” What Solomon meant by “[W]hat is to be has already been, and God requires an account of what is past” is not an easy task, but should you desire to search it out, the answer is related to a riddle concerning Holy angles. It is addressed in a note on my FB Author’s page, entitled: “How the Holy Angels are made Holly”. https://www.facebook.com/pg/Craig-McElheny-430759656985167/notes/?ref=page_internal Isaiah 1:18
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