Summary: Why am I here? Where am I going? What is my purpose? King Solomon contemplates these issues as he questions our time, tasks and tests while here on earth.
Time: The Great Equalizer!
There is a season, A time for every purpose (activity; desire; deliberate willful acts) under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck 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; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing; A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw 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 of war, And a time of peace. 1-8
What profit has the worker from that in which he labors? I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied (afflicted, oppressed). He has made everything beautiful (appropriate) in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. I know (perceive) that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to find satisfaction in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God. I know (perceive) that whatever God does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, And nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before (to stand in awe of His presence) Him. That which is has already been, and what is to be has already been; and God requires an account of what is past. 9-15
Moreover I saw under the sun: In the place of judgment, Wickedness was there; and in the place of righteousness, Iniquity was there.
I said in my heart, “God shall judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.” I said in my heart, “Concerning the condition of the sons of men, God tests them, that they may see that they themselves are like animals.” For what happens to the sons of men also happens to animals; one thing befalls them: as one dies, so dies the other. Surely, they all have one breath; man has no advantage over animals, for all is vanity. All go to one place: all are from the dust, and all return to dust. Who knows the spirit of the sons of men, which goes upward, and the spirit of the animal, which goes down to the earth? So I perceived that nothing is better than that a man should rejoice in his own works, for that is his heritage or portion in life. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him? 16-22
Introduction – Time to a Pig
There’s the story of a man walking past a farm and noticed a farmer feeding pigs in a most unusual manner. The farmer would lift a pig up to a nearby apple tree, and the pig would eat the apples off the tree directly. The farmer would move the pig from one apple to another until the pig was satisfied, then he would start again with another pig. The man watched this activity for some time with great astonishment.
Finally, it was more then he could take. He walked over to the farmer and asked, "This is the most inefficient method of feeding pigs that I can imagine. Just think of the time that you would save, if you simply shake the apples off the tree and let the pigs eat them from the ground!"
The farmer looked puzzled and replied, "What's time to a pig?"
Certainly, time to a pig is much different than the time God has given us!
Knowing God’s Time 3:1-8
(14 couplets…under heaven)
Everything belongs to God: the heavens and the earth
In God’s timing everything is ALWAYS on schedule
Everything has been appointed but too often and sadly, too many of us spend our time the way politicians spend our money!
Birth and death (α and ω; the beginning and ending)
Psalm 39 gives us some perspective. In David’s complaint to God, he said, “You have made my days as handbreadths, and my age is as nothing before You” (V. 5). He meant that to an eternal God our time on earth is brief. And He doesn’t want us to waste it. When we do, we throw away one of the most precious commodities He gives us. Each minute is an irretrievable gift—and an unredeemable slice of eternity.