Summary: What priority do you give to the things of God? Learn some things about yourself in this insightful message.
Ecclesiastes 3 lists several items that are described as having their specific time. The first verse, in fact, drives the point home, saying, "To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven."
Solomon then goes on to give examples of what he’s saying, giving one item, then relating an opposite item. Like, "A time to weep, and a time to laugh. A time to mourn and a time to dance." On and on the list goes, comparing and contrasting items that all have their specific times of being performed.
And one of the series of activities that’s mentioned there tells us that there’s "A time to break down, and a time to build up." Now, that’s not talking about a "nervous breakdown." It’s never time for that!
It’s referring to the fact that there are specific, God-ordained times when some things don’t need to stand any longer, and then, that there are some things that need to be built up and erected. And in church work, and in progressing in the direction God is wanting to take us, there are several things that can hinder both of those works from being done.
We can fail to tear things down and remove them. Everything has its season. Seasons have both a beginning and an ending. Many people think God only starts things, and then expects us to do them from now on. But look through the Bible and you’ll see that God is the Author, and the Finisher. The Alpha and Omega.
That tells me He starts things, but that there comes a time when He’ll finish it. Everything has a time, and everything has its season. The manna, the brazen serpent, the cloud by day and fire by night -
all of the things that God used to deliver His people with had their rightful season and time.
And not only that, but even people have their season. Moses had his season. Joshua, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and the other prophets, all had their season. We can, and often do, miss the season and time of God. And that means that we must constantly be seeking God’s direction for the Kingdom. What does God want to do now? And, what does God want me to do now?
And when there are things that God is through with, that we won’t break down, it hinders the building and coming forth of what God wants to do now. I think that’s one reason why the Lord told Jeremiah that he had called him "to root out, pull down, destroy and throw down, THEN to build, and to plant."
Some things had to be removed before other things could be raised! *And you only break things down when you recognize that something else needs to be built up. And so, somettimes, we fail to discern the time to build. I said recently, "God’s work, done God’s way, will have God’s support." That’s very true.
And included in doing things "God’s way," is doing things in God’s time. It’s amazing to me, how that, in some things, in some areas, we want to rush God, and in other areas we want to put God off! We often want God to move on our schedule, doing things our way, in our time. But at last check, none of us created or holds time in our hands! It is God who did, and He calls upon us to operate in His time.
And in the text, we see Israel, the remnant having returned from Babylonian captivity to rebuild the temple. We see them failing to do that work, the Lord’s work. They had become distracted, and the work of the Lord had suffered. And we see them, in their actions, wanting to argue with God about what time it is, how that time should be spent, and what they should be involved in. They had their own agenda, and God had His. And in their actions, attitudes, and words, we can identify some spiritually hazardous areas that we need to take note of in our own lives.
I don’t know how far I’ll get, but let’s begin, and we’ll see what happens. God directly challenges the people’s actions of apathy, (which doesn’t sound right), by speaking through the prophet Haggai. The word of the Lord came to Zerubbabel the govenor of Judah, and to Joshua the high priest.
The Lord said, "These people say, ’The time is not come, the time, that is, to build the Lord’s house.’" Again, the Lord says through Haggai, "Is it time for you to dwell in your cieled houses, and leave this house in ruins?" In 2 Timothy 3:16, it says that the word of the Lord is "profitable for reproof..." We see that being exercised here.