Summary: To everything there is a season and a purpose under Heaven. God loved each of us before the world was created. He knows us by name. God will always guide and direct us through all the seasons of life.
Every time I hear the word “season” I think of the song “Turn, Turn, Turn.” It was recorded by Pete Seeger and the Byrds in 1965. The majority of people who heard and liked this song had no idea it was based on the words found in the 3rd chapter of Ecclesiastes, all except the last line in the song “A time for peace”……..”I swear it's not too late.” 45% of the royalties for the song are donated to the "Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions," because, in Seeger's own words, (“in addition to the music”) I did write six words.”
This morning I want you to look around you. Look over this building, and the faces of those sitting around you. You see, this is a different place than when you walked into this morning. And those of you who came into this place this morning are different, because you just stepped into a new season.
You thought you were just coming to church, but you didn’t count on moving into a new level, a new dimension of God this morning.
I want you to look at the person on your right and tell them, “I just stepped into a new season.”
In Ecclesiastes we read the words of wisdom from Solomon, David’s son:
“There is an appointed time for everything,
and a season for every purpose under the heavens:
A time to be born and a time to die,
A time to plant and a time to uproot,
A time to kill and a time to heal,
A time to tear down and a time to build,
A time to weep and a time to laugh,
A time to mourn and a time to dance,
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
A time to search and a time to give up,
A time to keep and a time to throw away,
A time to tear and a time to mend,
A time to be silent and a time to speak,
A time to love and a time to hate,
A time for war and a time for peace.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)
These verses picture human experience as a tapestry woven of times. There is indeed a time for everything and a season for every activity under Heaven. Te totality of life is captured here, utilizing the literary figure of “merism” in a series of opposites.
Merism involves the statement of polar extremes as a way of embracing everything that lies between them.
We find many examples of merisms in the Bible. Starting with Genesis 1:1; “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” which indicates that God created the whole universe. Or in David’s Psalm 139 he writes; “Oh Lord, You have searched me and know me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up” indicating that God is aware of our every move. Another of my favorite Psalms, also written by David is Psalm 103 where he writes “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions (our sins) from us.” Merisms also figure in a number of familiar English expressions. When we mean to say that someone searched thoroughly, everywhere, we often say that someone searched high and low.
Merisms frequently figure in the writing of lawyers and are a hallmark of legal style. The two parts of the legal merism Last Will and Testament at one time referred to two documents, enforced in two separate courts: the will represented real or immoveable property such as land and the testament represented all other belongings. It became customary to combine the instruments in a single document, and the name has continued ever since. If you look at ancient Near Eastern literature, this form was used quite often, and Solomon uses it here. It is interesting to note that in Solomon’s list of opposites there are twenty eight items in fourteen pairs – multiples of seven, the number symbolizing completion or perfection in the Bible.
You see we serve a God of season. We see it in creation. God created the four seasons that are based upon the rotation of the Earth as it orbits the Sun. The seasons change as the earth moves, but the sun in our planetary system remains constant, and everything revolves around it.
In many ways we see the signature of the same artist in our lives. Much like the earth, our lives should revolve around the Son, Jesus Christ. Our lives will change, and we will enter and exit many seasons, but the Son remains constant yesterday, today and forever.
Just like we said earlier, we serve a God of seasons. But God doesn’t measure seasons with clocks and calendars, but through truth and revelation. Whenever God gives you a fresh Word, you’ve just stepped into a new season.