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Jun 1, 2020

Ecclesiastes 3:1-15

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.

9 What gain has the worker from his toil? 10 I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 12 I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live;13 also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God's gift to man. 14 I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him. 15 That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God seeks what has been driven away.

Much like today’s sermon text from Ecclesiastes 3, many of the hymns we sing this morning mention aspects of God’s sovereignty over time. His truth has “at all times firmly stood, and shall from age to age endure” (All People That On Earth Do Dwell—Psalm 100). We are not to “fear the trying hour” (Incarnate God!—Psalm 91), but instead wait upon the Lord’s providence with patience (O Lord, Teach Me To Follow You—Psalm 27). His presence gives “strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow” (Great Is Thy Faithfulness). In the words of the hymn writer Matthew Bridges, He is the “Lord of years” and, memorably, the “Potentate of time” (Crown Him With Many Crowns). These hymns are paired with readings from Romans and Ephesians that remind us that though “the days are evil,” we can make good use of our time because of Christ’s redeeming sacrifice “at the right time” (Ephesians 5:16; Romans 5:5). On this Whitsunday, when we celebrate God’s providential sending of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, let’s give thanks that we serve a Lord who provides for us in every time and season. —Henry C. Haffner

Key Words: Season, Time. Eternity, Beginning, End, Pleasure
Keystone Verse: He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity into man’s heart. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)