Ecclesiastes 3:1

READ:

Ecclesiastes 3:1

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.

EXHORTATION:

God is in control of time and events. He has purposed what and how things should be as time moves relentlessly on. Every event has a definite place in God-directed history. There is a “season” (an appointed period) and a “time” (a predetermined occurrence) for all that take place under the sun. Man must humbly submit to God’s immaculate providence.

Times of life cannot be fully known to us. Whether we can bring any of our labours to fruition or not, is unknown to us. We cannot on our own achieve permanence or fulfilment of anything we pursue. Hence our efforts and endeavours are not forever. We must know that all our abilities and labour cannot change the seasons set by God. We are directed and controlled by His providential appointments of events and seasons. Man cannot be the ultimate decider of his destiny. He must align his thoughts and actions with God who is in control of time and events.

Verses that follow further demonstrate this truth. “A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace” (vv. 2-8).

This is a poem on 14 sets of opposites, each of which happens in its due, appointed time. Our lives in this world will experience a mixture of joy and sorrow, harmony and conflict, life and death. No permanent state of affairs exists in this world. Sudden changes of circumstances (especially when things turn for the worse) are a source of people’s frustration. But giving in to disappointment and rage will not help us. We must learn to live amidst the changing scenes of life by trusting in God’s unchanging goodness. We must patiently wait upon God by focusing on what we ought to do according to His will, knowing full well that God will accomplish His good pleasure concerning us in His own perfect time. For it is written, “He hath made every thing beautiful in his time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11a).

 

Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy, 5 October, 2018