Ecclesiastes 3:1–18 ‘There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…’ (v1)
The writer’s musings on life cause him to start to bring God into the picture (see 2:24), and so he is now reflecting, more helpfully, on seeing things as brought by God, with a series of fourteen couplets which contrast one another, and are perhaps the best-known part of the book.
It starts with the most basic: ‘A time to be born and a time to die.’ We don’t get to choose either.
We then have a mixture of contrasts which vary from the more mundane (to tear and to mend – see v7), to the more serious (a time for war and a time for peace – see v8).
It’s as if Solomon is settling on a maxim to help his restless sense of purposelessness. He’s realising the need to focus on what is in front of him and realise that for these moments, this is right.
Life has its contrasts and appropriate actions. I mourn at a funeral, and that’s appropriate, but that’s not for ever; grief will pass, even if we have to learn to live with it.
Dancing is terrific, but we can’t dance forever. So, we are called to enjoy life in the present (vv12–13) and trust in God’s overseeing of life (vv14–15).
Whatever we are facing, we look to God. We can ask for His intervention, to change things or to give us grace as we live through things.
We live in this moment and rejoice in it, even if we are not able to rejoice for it. We know that challenging and encouraging times won’t be for ever, and that God will lead us through it.
So, the next twenty-four hours are part of your time. Choose to live them conscious of God.
A Prayer To Make:
Thank You for the variety in life and that You help us navigate through the ups and downs. Amen.
An Action To Take:
Choose to settle your thoughts on what you are facing today. The past is gone.
The future hasn’t happened. God gives you now.
Scripture To Consider:
Ps. 139:13–18; Dan. 4:28–37; Acts 14:14–17; Eph. 1:3–10