(George Mylne, "Lessons for the Christian's Daily Walk" 1859)
"The race is not to the swift,
or the battle to the strong;
nor does food come to the wise,
or wealth to the brilliant,
or favor to the learned —
but time and chance happen to them all." Ecclesiastes 9:11
Time, and her handmaid, what the world calls "chance", are clad in the vesture of uncertainty. What the worldling calls "chance" — in reality, is nothing but God's divine providence. God's ways bespeak His wisdom and His power — He is wise to adapt, and mighty to fulfill. Viewed with the eye of sense, God's ways often assume an air of fickleness; by which it is inferred that all things happen without rhyme or reason — with no settled law pervading, and no sovereign will directing their occurrence.
Thus man twists the attributes of God, and robs Him of His honor — as though some mock divinity called "chance" presided over us, and made caprice his rule of action.
Man's needs are various, and require an ever varying treatment — hence the varieties of "time and chance." Not one event occurs without its meaning. All events are divinely fitted by the supreme Disposer's wisdom and sovereignty.
Such treatment is required for a fallen race. No one uniform law would suit every purpose. Shivered to atoms by the "fall" — all order is gone from man. Each broken fragment of his nature reflects prismatic rays of frailty — their hue, their color, their intensity, forever varying; each calling for a divine providence adapted to fit its need; and, as the prism varies, so is the divine treatment changed.
The divine eye which counts the feathers on the wings of insects; which numbers up the blades of grass; which counts the drops of water in the ocean; and registers each grain of sand upon the shore — is quick to see, and swift to direct. Hence, are all the changes, accidents, and "chances" of man's experience.
Hence, "the race is not to the swift, or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise, or wealth to the brilliant, or favor to the learned." Man may propose — but all the disposing is of God. God's "chance" (divine providence) is not the "chance" of men — all fickle and confused. God's "chance" is sure — fixed in its principle, certain in its aim, acting on rules of wisdom, inscrutable to man, yet clear and well-defined.
Man fails — and he knows not why. He calculates in vain. His plans are crossed by divine counter-plans — the underworkings of the divine Hand which made the worlds; of Him, who sovereignly controls all things of "time and chance."