Anthony Gammage – Ecclesiastes 3:1-15
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break 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 cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
What gain has the worker from his toil?
We throw ourselves into some absorbing activity which offers us fulfillment, but how freely did we choose it? Perhaps our choices are no freer than our responses to winter and summer, childhood and old age, dictated by the mark of time and of unbidden change…Whatever be our skill or initiative, our real masters seem to be these inexorable seasons: not only those of the calendar, but the tide of events which moves us now to one kind of action which seems fitting, now to another which puts it all into reverse.
I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 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. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.
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. That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God seeks what has been driven away. And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven.
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
So they were seeking to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.