Scripture Reading: Ecclesiastes 1:1-3:22 / 1 Corinthians 7:1-16 / Psalm 94:12-23
Does time fly or does time stand still? Time does both…depending upon our circumstances and dispositions. If we have an urgent, impending project; time is of the essence and we have to make the most of the allotted time. Summer vacation, visiting with friends and our children’s growth…time goes too quickly. But we can also experience sickness, trials or a lengthy car ride to a vacation destination where time goes so slow.
When you read Solomon’s words in Ecclesiastes, he has a very negative and critical perspective of life. He defines everything in life as “meaningless”. This is his conclusion as he searches for the order and design of life. He discovers that nothing makes sense or brings total fulfillment in life. He does come to a correct conclusion by the end of his ramblings but an important truth here in chapter 3 must not be overlooked.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” (3:1) Solomon then proceeds to list the polarization of life in respect to time. Birth/death, build up /tear down, search/give up, keep/throw away, mend/tear, laugh/weep, peace/war are a few of Solomon’s references to the opposites in life. We defy and fight the times of darkness and welcome with great desire the times of light.
The truth is that God has allowed all of these times in our life for our own good. God is not the giver of evil things; mankind embraced those when they rebelled and sinned. God’s mercy, grace, and compassion are revealed when He brings us out of those dark times into times of goodness and hope.
Solomon said of God, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” (3:11a) We should never become disheartened in the midst of life’s greatest attacks. We must acknowledge that those times are dark, we do hurt and there is often much pain. That is life…but life is not in charge…God is in charge! God does not give great insight to the struggles of today or the purpose for them.
Solomon also says that God “has set eternity in the hearts of men…” (3:11b) In the midst of the unpredictable and troublesome times in life, God has man searching for something deeper and more meaningful in this present life. That discovery can be made not in searching this world but the creator of this world. Yes, there is a time for everything and God has all times and eternity in His hands.
Pastor James Clark has pastored Calvary Assembly since 1985. He is blessed with his wife Yvonne, six children, two son-in-laws, a beautiful granddaughter and hopefully many more grandchildren to follow!