When I applied mine heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done upon the earth: . . . Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labor to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea farther; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it (Ecclesiastes 8:16,17).
From the depressing outlook of this passage we might think that education and research are futile undertakings. If the perspective described by the elderly Solomon is correct, and God has set a barrier to knowing about what He has done, then it is hopeless to seek for that which cant be found.
But praise God, this is not the point of view taught in the rest of Scripture. To those who seek Him, He can be found. And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve Him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek Him, He will be found of thee; but if thou forsake Him, He will cast thee off for ever (I Chronicles 28:9).
This verse was spoken by David to Solomon while telling him that the Lord had chosen Solomon to build the Temple. God gave Solomon great wisdom and success in his building project. That project stands in the historical records as one of the major accomplishments of all time and is a testimony to the capacity of the mind stayed upon the Lord.
Notice that the verse above also deals with the heart. Perhaps this is a reference to the hypothalamic part of the brain where decisions are made based upon what is in the mind (cerebrum). The verse implies that God can read us like a book and even knows the intent of our thoughts. If we direct our thoughts after Him, He will let us find Him. We can know the business that is done upon the earth. KBC