Summary: Let God be God, and stand in awe of Him.
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Let’s begin with a music trivia question. Question: What #1 pop hit has the oldest lyrics? Answer: The Byrds’ version of Turn! Turn! Turn! (released on October 1, 1965). The lyrics are from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. If the traditional view on the authorship of Ecclesiastes is true, then Solomon should be given him lyrical credit for a number one hit.
In this passage, the Preacher gives us three conclusions about the seasons of life:
1. God is in CONTROL; we are not.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven (v. 1).
Some people live in the past or the future and don’t enjoy the present. (Stores are always one season ahead.) “Making the best use of time” (Ephesians 5:16). Life is a vapor (“vanity”). It goes by so quickly. Don’t miss opportunities. We can’t determine the number of days, but we can determine if our life will be full or empty. How do we have full lives? (1) Enjoy God’s good gifts in the present (vv. 12-13). (2) Serve God and others, which has eternal significance.
We see God’s control (sovereignty) in His perfectly-time plan of salvation:
• “When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son” (Galatians 4:4).
• “Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel’” (Mark 1:14-15).
• “They were seeking to arrest [Jesus], but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come” (John 7:30).
• “Before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father…” (John 13:1).
• “[Jesus] said, ‘Go into the city to a certain man and say to him, “The Teacher says, My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples”’” (Matthew 26:18).
• “While we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6).
• “[Jesus] began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again” (Mark 8:31).
• “…the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords” (1 Timothy 6:14-15).
• “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only” (Matthew 24:36).
• “So when they came together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, ‘It is not for you to now the times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority’” (Acts 1:6-7).