Seasons and Times, Ecc 3:1-8

In Ecc 3:1-8 Solomon wrote about seasons and times under the heaven.  In Ecc 3:1, he said, “To everything there is a season”.  There are four seasons of the year on the calendar.  And then we have the seasons of life, hurricane season, mating seasons, hunting seasons, sports seasons, and so forth.  To everything there is a season.  And certain things happen in those seasons and certain things don’t.  You have to go with the seasons.

Likewise, we have seasons and times in the work of God among us.  There are seasons when souls are getting saved regularly and seasons when they aren’t.  There are seasons of growth and then seasons of consolidation and even seasons of purging.  It seems that things are changing to some degree all the time.

And you have to learn to go with the seasons and times.  If you expect to see a harvest every time you talk to someone about Jesus, you’re going to neglect the necessary work of planting and watering.  Thus, at times, if you get a harvest, it will be yours not the Lord’s.

Solomon also wrote, “There is a time to every purpose under heaven”.  And then he gave us 28 events that happen in their time.

A time to be born, and a time to die.  Here Solomon talks about the span of your life.  It starts with your birth and ends with your death.  The frustration for many is the timing and manner of their death.  There is no set span.  There is no set way to die.  Death differs for everybody.  The thing for us is to prepare and be ready.  Paul and Peter both knew that the time of their departure was at hand, 2 Tim 4:6; 2 Pet 1:14.

A time to plant and pluck up.  You can see this going on right now during grain “season”.  Farmers pluck up what they planted after harvest to prepare for planting “season” again.  These happen according to set times.

A time to kill and heal.  During the outbreak of an infectious disease, livestock may need to be killed to prevent further spread of the pathogen.  At other times, the animals may be able to be treated and healed by medical interventions.  You have to know the seasons and times and go with them, though your heart might break in the killing season.

A time to break down and build up.  See Jeremiah 1:10.  The Lord allowed the temple Solomon built in Jerusalem to be broken down when Israel rebelled.  And it will be rebuilt according to Ezek 40-43 at the beginning of the millennial reign of Jesus.  Jesus’s temple, his body Jn 2:19-21, was broken down and raised up in three days.  Thank God.  And now God’s holy temple is being built, Eph 2:19-22.

A time to weep and laugh.  Jesus wept in Gethsemane but he will laugh upon his return Ps 2:4.  The Jews will weep in the Tribulation and then laugh in the millennium, Ps 30:5.  We weep while sowing and rejoice upon reaping, Ps 126:5-6.  The world is laughing now, but they will weep when Jesus returns, Rev 1:7.  You don’t want to laugh at the wrong time.  He who laughs last…

A time to mourn and dance.  The prodigal son’s father didn’t dance until his boy came home, Lk 15:25.  The world should be mourning right now; but, like the prodigal son in Lk 15:13, they are dancing instead.  They can’t discern the seasons and times, Matt 16:3.

A time to cast away stones and gather stones.  Practically, you cast away stones when you are clearing a field for cultivation.  You gather stones when you are building a wall.  Again you want to do each of these at the right time.  Israel, unfortunately, cast away a stone that they should have gathered, Matt 21:42-45.

A time to embrace and refrain.  We embrace in marriage.  We refrain for a time while fasting and praying, 1 Cor 7:5.  Refrain from embracing before marriage, 1 Cor 7:1.  Embrace in brotherly love, 1 Cor 16:20.  Refrain from embracing a wayward saint during church discipline, 1 Cor 5:11.

A time to get and lose.  A Baptist preacher and his new bride took their honeymoon in the Bahamas.  Upon arriving, his wife saw slot machines and wanted to play.  He protested that this was gambling, but she insisted.  After winning 3 quarters on the first pull and losing a quarter on the second, her husband stopped her.  He said “Now you know what it is to win, and now you know what it is to lose.  You know all you need to know about gambling”.  Sometimes you have to lose before you realize the value of what you’ve got.  You might get a job and lose that job.  In my case, this is one of the best things that ever happened to me.

A time to keep and cast away.  Someone needs to help Anne’s mother, and Anne, for that matter, with the “cast away” part of this truth.  It’s time to keep the King James Bible and cast away the modern versions.

A time to rend and sew.  The children of Israel rent their clothes in times of repentance and sorrow as in Gen 44:13.  The veil of the temple was rent to never be sewn again.  Paul sewed to make and repair tents in order to support himself in the ministry.

A time to keep silence and speak.  Fools mouth calleth for strokes, Prov 18:6-7.  The forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife, Prov 30:33.  Answer not a fool, Prov 26:4.  Convince the gainsayers, whose mouths must be stopped, Titus 1:9-11.  Speak as the oracles of God, 1 Pet 4:11.  “While I was musing the fire burned: then I spake with my tongue”, Ps 39:1-3.  Jesus refused to answer his accusers and judges, Jn 19:9-10, Lk 23:9.  It’s still time to preach the gospel.

A time to love and hate.  Love God, 1 Jn 4:19, love his words, Ps 119:163-167, and love the brethren, Jn 13:34-35, all the time.  And hate what God hates, Lk 14:26, Ps 139:21-22, 1 Jn 2:15-17, Jas 4:4.  Many Christians these days have a hard time know what to hate and when to hate it.

A time of war and peace.  David was the man of war and he fought in that time of war.  Solomon reigned during the time of peace.  The Second Advent of Jesus will be a time of war, Zech 14:2; his millennial reign will be a time of peace, Is 2:4, 11:5-9.

There are definitely seasons and times.  Right now it is time for us to fight the good fight of faith, 1 Tim 6:12, in spiritual warfare, Eph 6:10-18, while resting in the peace that passeth all understanding, Phil 4:6-7.  We are more than conquerors through Christ, Rom 8:37.  This is not time to make peace with a world that hates Jesus Christ.

To study the prior lesson in this series, see What Was That Good.  To study the next lesson, see The Work That God Maketh.