Summary: Ecclesiastes 3
THE TIME OF OUR LIVES (ECCLESIASTES 3)
Two weeks ago, eight days after my wife’s passing away, I went by myself to Repulse Bay to recapture or reshoot the same picture of my wife sitting on a railing. It did not work out as the background is not the same; neither is the railing, the tree, the building, the V fingers raised and time of day.
Ecc 1 Ecc 2 Ecc 3
The Profit The Pride The Purpose
Philosophical Man His Greatness
What Was Done What Man Did What God Will Do
What is your purpose in life? What path do you plan to take? What progress have you made? What priorities are foremost to you?
Determine Your Purpose
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: 2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, 6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent 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 do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race.
William Arthur Ward says, “The adventure of life is to learn. The purpose of life is to grow. The nature of life is to change. The challenge of life is to overcome. The essence of life is to care. The opportunity of life is to serve. The secret of life is to dare. The spice of life is to befriend. The beauty of life is to give. The joy of life is to love.”
The first verse determines the message of chapter three. The Hebrew rendition is “To all (there is) a season and a time to all purpose under heaven.” To all does not limit the scope and subject to all things. It could be people or events. Season (v 1) or “zeman” is different from time (eth). Season (zeman) is still used in many countries such as Indonesia, Turkey and the Middle East. It refers to a past era, an age in history, or a certain period of time. Time, however, is not necessarily present time, but “seasons” (Ex 18:22) or “due season” (Deut 11:14). The contrast could be past and present, former versus future, older and ongoing.
The noun “purpose” is translated outside of Ecclesiastes as delight
(1 Sam 15:22), desire (1 Sam 18:25) and pleasure (Job 21:21). There is order, objective, and outlook to all things. Hence it is a good thing. Not only is it purposeful, but positive and pleasing. The translation of “purpose” is only in this book and not the other 32 instances outside the book. In the book it is translated as purpose (Eccl 3:1), pleasure (Eccl 5:4) and acceptable (Eccl 12:10). It is antithesis and contrast to chance, coincidence and chaos. It’s been said, “Everything happens for a purpose.” Time is the occasion, but purpose is the opportunity.