“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven — A time to give birth, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to tear down, and a time to build up. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. A time to throw stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace, and a time to shun embracing. A time to search, and a time to give up as lost; a time to keep, and a time to throw away. A time to tear apart, and a time to sew together; a time to be silent, and a time to speak. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.” ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
These verses are oft quoted. Songs have even “sprung” from these words penned by King Solomon. And while they may sound beautiful and eloquent, and they ring with truth, they actually spell out how “daily” life is.
I appreciate what Pastor Chuck Smith says about this passage:
“Life seems to be ordered in these things. Just a time, a time, a time, a time. And the Hebrew idea is that of the monotony of life. It isn’t, ‘Oh the glorious time to love and a time to plant,’ you know, as we make it very romantic today. It was really being expressed in a very life-gets-so-tedious, don’t it?”
“I have seen the task which God has given the sons of men with which to occupy themselves. He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart…” ~ Ecclesiastes 3:10-11a
Solomon, though wisest of all men, struggled with a humanistic view of his life. If this life is all there is, all is futile. Live for the moment, because the moment is all you are promised. A time for this, a time for that, and then you die. Yet, Solomon also recognized that God had put something deep inside him that knew there was more to life than this moment, this earth. God had “set eternity” in his heart.
We are created as eternal beings. As C.S. Lewis so perfectly stated: “You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.” Our souls are eternal, and while these bodies will eventually fail us, who we really are will live forever. It comes down to a simple choice of where. With God, or without God. That decision, made in this life, affects your eternity. Do you choose God? Or do you NOT choose God? That is the question.
“I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him. That which is has been already, and that which will be has already been, for God seeks what has passed by.” ~ Ecclesiastes 3:14-15
God is not constrained by time. He is the great I AM, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8). And while we cannot fully understand nor comprehend how this all works, we know that it is so, through faith in Jesus. If God says it, we can believe that it is true. He is trustworthy and faithful.
” ‘For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.’ ” ~ John 3:16
So, if you choose God, through Jesus you have eternal life, spent with Him! It is as simple as that. There is more to this life than a time for this and a time for that. There is a God who rules over all our times and events, a God who created us and “set eternity” in our hearts. Deep inside, we all know that we are eternal. And we all have the opportunity to recognize that there is a God who loves us and wants to call us His own.
“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live…” ~ Deuteronomy 30:19a
Have you made your choice?