Ecclesiastes 3: A Time For Everything

If I was in some weird experiment where I had to give advice to someone without knowing the problem, I'd direct them to Ecclesiastes 3:1-9. Granted, I don't think it fixes all problems (especially not without discussion) but it covers pretty much everything.


If you've been following along, you probably wondered why I skipped from Ecclesiastes 1&2 to Ecclesiastes 4 without talking about Ecclesiastes 3. I wish I had some grand reason, but the truth it is, I wrote the following post back in August with the intent to publish it before I published the post on Ecclesiastes 4. Evidently, after I finished the post, I waited to publish it to find an appropriate picture and somehow forgot all about it. So, this post has been sitting in my drafts since late August... Well, as this chapter famously states, there's a time for everything and I guess this is the appointed time God had for it's publication. Sorry for the delay!

Ecclesiastes 3:1-9 is probably the most well remembered and often quoted passage from Ecclesiastes. I've even heard non-believers quote these verses or at least the essence of these verses. Once Solomon explains to us that there are seasons for everything in our lives, he delves into an interesting discussion on death.


Photocredit: MacNewton
When I was in middle school, I felt like everyone quoted this passage on repeat for every situation. It was hard to take in the beauty of Solomon's words because I was so busy trying to get to the next season. However, each season is necessary to enjoy the others! What's more, just like every region on the planet experiences seasons differently, and even at different times, we experiences our season at different rates and magnitudes.

Despite it being cliche, these verses really do cover most life experiences. Solomon doesn't just give us these verses to remember for our own situations, however. Each verse gives us advice on choosing appropriate behavior among others. We must use the discernment of the Holy Spirit to determine when we should speak up and when we should fall back, when we should carry on with the fun versus when we withdraw into a more solemn stance. We must know which battles are worthy of being fought—even God will declare war on Satan when the time is right.

If I had to give advice without knowing the problem, this is the passage I'd direct the person to.


I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.Ecclesiastes 3:14 KJV
I find myself telling people "God has a plan for your life" all the time. Ecclesiastes 3:14 is the verse I need to be quoting. Nothing can change the destiny God has set for us. God appointed David king, nothing was going to change that. God said He's going to put an end to evil, nothing is going to change that. If you hand over your life to God and let Him map out your future, you are guaranteed to end up where He wants you. Neither the devil nor your earthly enemies can change that.


Solomon reminds us that we are no better than animals when it comes to death. This is the ultimate punishment for sin—we must die. He concludes that the only thing that separates us is our works. This is a key statement for the faith vs. works debate. The reason we should rejoice over our works is because we were given the free will to complete them. Our faith in God (which is what saves us) dictates our behavior and we have the choice to believe or not believe. Animals don't have this luxury.

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