The scripture we will look at for today’s devotional effort was used in a song written by Pete Seeger and released October 1, 1965 by the Byrds called “Turn, Turn, Turn.” To everything there is a season. The writer is Solomon, considered to be one of the wisest of men to ever live. In fact God came to him in a dream.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 ESV
A Time for Everything
3 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
The Word of God for the Children of God. In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.
God came to a young Solomon in a dream when he became King of Israel and said to him, Solomon, ask for whatever you want and I will give it to you. If God said that to you what would you ask for? Solomon’s reply was this Lord, I am only a little child and I do not know how to carry out my job. The people will be serving are too numerous to even count so please give me wisdom.
So God said since you asked for wisdom and not long life or wealth and since you didn’t ask me to take care of your enemies I will do it. I will give you wisdom but I will also give you what you have not asked for-riches and in your lifetime there will be no equal. 1 Kings 3:5-14.
Solomon wrote down the book of Proverbs and also wrote down the book of Ecclesiastes. And by reading through both, God did carry out His promise.
I think that most of us would agree that when it comes to TIME and Time management most of us would say that we rarely have too much time on our hands that management becomes an issue. Instead we are pushed on a daily basis to get everything done…. To take care of our “to do” list. To keep all of the plates spinning. If there is any area where we need [GUARDRAILS] it is in the area of TIME. There are 4 things I see here that God has to say about time.
(1) God’s Timing is sovereign. We know that but every one of us, from time to time question his timing. We wonder why God doesn’t answer our prayers when we ask him to. How many of us have ever prayed for something-your prayer went unanswered or it wasn’t answered the way you wanted it or when you wanted it. And we start to wonder about God’s timing. They are hard questions.
But I know this. God’s timing is best. In fact, His timing is perfect. It’s sovereign. What does that mean? It means God is in total control. Notice v. 1. There is an (NASB) appointed time for everything. Not most things. Not convenient things. All things. There is an appointed time in God’s timetable for everything.
Now it may be obvious but I want to say a few things about His sovereignty.
(1) God’s timing and our timing are not the same. He does not view things in the same way as we do so until we learn to see things through God’s eyes we will never understand His timing.
(2) We see things one piece at a time. God sees the whole picture. When I was very young we would go out into a blizzard to stand in sub zero degree weather to shovel snow out of our driveways and off of neighbors sidewalks. But I could never really shovel enough. I was always curious about the arriving plow truck. And so I would look as far as I could down the street so I could see what was coming. But I still could never hope see as far into the blizzard as I wanted to.
God looks at things as though He is on top of the highest mountain. You know if you could get up high enough and get an aerial view, you would be able to see what has just passed by and you would see it clearly. You would see what is right in front of you and you would see who and what is coming and you would see it clearly and you would see it all at one time. What just went by me, who, what’s there, what’s coming. We call it a linear view of time, that is what God gives us.
But we’re always saying you know if I could just have known this was coming I could have been better prepared. God says “I know.” One things we can know about God is that He is never surprised. God’s timing is perfect. It’s sovereign.
(2) God’s timing is sufficient. He says in v. 3… there is a season for every activity under heaven. We may be in a place right now where we are wondering if God is ever going to show up. We are raising young children. We are raising teenagers. Our finances might be in trouble. Maybe we are on the brink of losing your job. Maybe we already have. Maybe our health is declining and we don’t know what the outcome will be. Whatever our difficulties may be I cannot promise you that God’s going to answer your prayer the exact way you may want Him to but I can promise that you will make it through at some point if you will hold on to Him.
Solomon says there is a time for every activity under Heaven. Everything! God literally has a time for everything. He is going to take care of you in everything. Not 99% but Everything. Why? God cares about every single detail of your life.
You see, another thing this verse does is it speaks directly to each and every one of us including me. You see I’m not the kind of person who is a list maker—I do not work with a to do list, I’ve got the plates spinning and when I see that one is slowing down or it’s wobbling, I want to fix it and then I read this scripture and God says I have got a season for every activity under Heaven. The paraphrased version of that is that God says, “Tom” you need to go chill out. Take a chill pill. God recommends let me bring every event into your life you need in my timing.
(3) God’s timing is seasonal. Look at the meat of what God says here. Vv. 2-8. Now I don’t know about you but I believe this passage is not really about weeping and mourning and laughing and dancing—it’s bigger than that. It’s about God’s timing. Notice this. Birth and death. Killing and healing. Tearing down and building up. War and peace. Do you happen to see the pattern here?
All of these are written in pairs and they are all opposites and they are also all seasonal. This is not just about picking up stones and throwing them back. This passage is describing all of the different seasons of life. Life comes in seasons.
There are seasons of loss and there are seasons of gain. And in whatever season we find ourselves we must learn to live life to the fullest. In other words I think God says to each of us here that “there’s only a period of time; a season of time in which I am going to do this in your life and then I’m moving on to something else in your life.” That’s why it’s so very important for us to be aware of God’s timing.
It’s that way in your life and it’s that way in mine and in the daily life of local communities, the church. And if we don’t live in His timing we’re not willing to change when God says change then He will move on and find someone who will.
4. God’s timing is surprising. Now one thing we can surely and certainly know about God is that He is never surprised. He didn’t create the universe and then say wow I can’t believe I did that. God never says the words, I can’t believe that happened. But you and I are often surprised daily. His timing 100% surprises us.
One man was taking it easy, lying on the grass and looking up at the clouds. He was identifying shapes when he decided to talk to God. “God” he said “how long is a million years?” God answered, “well to me it’s just about a minute.”
The man next asked “God how much is a million dollars?”
God said, “to me it’s like a penny.”
The man said well then God can I have a penny? God said sure, in a minute.
We are not always ready for what God is about to do. We can usually think of a thousand billion trillion reasons why we’re not ready to do what God wants us to do but when I look at these verses one of the things that jumps off the page at me is that our God is a very thorough God. Our God is a thoroughly creative God.
His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are forever higher than our thoughts and just about the time I think I have God figured out He surprises me and takes me into another season of life. He works in ways I never thought were possible. But then I’m not God. He is. And that would be a great thing for all of us to get hold of: we must stop trying to be God and learn to wait for His timing.
Let me try to give you 5 [GUARDRAILS] we all need to try to put in place.
 There is a time for everything but not for everything all at once. All of us need to learn how to focus and prioritize. We attempt too many things and then we do not do many or any of them properly. Paul said this one thing I do. Some of us need to fall in love with don’t do list. We must keep our priorities in place.
 There is a reason for the season. Keep in mind seasons are always and forever temporary – do not last forever. Let God do His work. Be patient.
 We cannot now what the future holds but we can know the One who holds the future.
 We must give up trying to be God. Trying to take care of everything and everybody.
 We must try to see the Big Picture. We are not God but we can trace His hand in our lives.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, So many verses and passages in scripture come back to the foundational truth God knows best and wants us to trust Him in all things and at all times. He made the world and governs the universe, and is never phased nor astonished at what is going on in the world at large, neither the troubling circumstances that are happening in the individual lives of all of His children.
This passage of text is an obvious, a simple, yet timely reminder, that we are to live by faith in the Word of Truth, and to trust God’s judgement in all things, for He sends blessings raining on the just and unjust alike, and He takes the foolish schemes and rebellious actions of men and turns them to His greater glory, in order to fulfil His ultimate plan and purpose, which is that Christ is all in all.
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Let us take time to Pray,
Thank You, Father, that You know the end from the beginning and that 100% everything under heaven is within Your authority. Thank You, that You are in control of all that is happening in my own individual life and the wider world in general. May I trust You through all the circumstances of life and as I seek Your face in prayer and praise, may I learn more and more to pray, “Thy will be done in my life and throughout the world.” In Jesus’ name I pray, Alleluia! Amen.