Visitor: Does the Bible really teach that there is no such thing as chance? My version still says that "time and chance happen to all."
If everything - absolutely everything mind you - was decided before that first "let their be" then Ryle's last paragraph simply makes no sense. All that talk about what we should seek and strive to do and believe is advice impossible to follow because what I believe as well as what I do were, apparently, fully and finally established before the foundation of the earth. Radical Calvinists will vehemently disagree with me about my ability to make any choice - however trivial - but only because God decided some time ago that they would. Nothing to do with them though, just grace that they back the right horse. Me though? Apparently there is a God in Romans who makes things he hates and will eventually destroy. Weird though, don't you think, not to mention any of that in Genesis 1, where things are only "good" and "very good"?
A two-part response:
1) The Bible teaches that God is all-seeing (Psalm 33:13-15), never-sleeping (Psalm 121:3-4) and cares deeply about His people (Romans 8:38-39). He assures us that He knows every hair on our head, and when every sparrow falls ... but He comforts us that we "are of more value than many sparrows" (Luke 12:6-7).
The text and all of Ecclesiastes is speaking from a human perspective, so time and chance refers to man who does not know his time. Please read the text in context: