The passage today says there is a time for everything, what do you think?
1There 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. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.
There is a time for everything. Don’t we know it? Life is filled with cycles and seasons; different times for different things. It reminds me of the song, “Blessed Be Your Name,” which describes times of sunshine, when the world is “all as it should be”… as well as times in the wilderness; on the road marked with suffering. These ups and downs, these cycles and seasons of life are an experience common to all of us. Whilst there is some beauty in this rhythm, there is often a deep sense of frustration, in the apparent randomness and lack of meaning of life.
The futility and vanity of life here in our broken and fallen world is prominent in Ecclesiastes. Sometimes we feel this futility deeply… and we feel it because God has set eternity in our hearts. The Teacher rightly perceived that everything God does endures forever; all people are grass which wither, but the word of God stands forever (Isa 40:6-8) This is why we fear God. He is glorious and sovereign; all he does is perfect and eternal, and his purposes are unchanging – in stark contrast to the breath-like quality of our human existence.
God’s ways are often mysterious to us. The fleeting nature of earthly things sorrows us. But it is precisely in sensing this sorrow and our own impermanence that we lift our eyes up to the cross. For Jesus’ followers, his death must have seemed a bitter disappointment; a tragic waste. Frustrating. Meaningless. But nothing could be further from the truth. The cross was God’s appointed means to fulfil his promises; to redeem and to save. Jesus came at God’s appointed time; when the “time had come,” to seek and save the lost. (Mark 1:15; Rom 5:6)
Let us fear our God. To behold him with reverence, awe, and worship – the One who appoints and controls the times, and who knows what we are, and our dependence on him. The One who has given us hope in the midst of fleetingness and futility… certain hope of significance, and of everlasting life, through Jesus.(John 3:16)
Head: Why fear the Lord? List all the reasons you know of why God is worthy of your worship and awe.
Heart: How do you feel standing before this glorious God? In light of the cross?
Hands: What would it look like for you to fear God in your life? How would that affect how you live through different seasons of life? How might it change how you’re living in your current season of life?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, You are glorious and awesome. I praise you that you are sovereign, and that you rule with justice and love. Forgive my self-centredness. Thank you for granting me life and significance through Jesus. Teach me, by your Spirit, to fear you, and to worship you with all of my life. Amen.
A song to listen to: “Blessed Be Your Name.” Will you join in praising God, in every season?
This Grow Daily was originally posted as part of the Must See Passages series in 2016. During the School Holidays we take the opportunity to look back at the best of Grow Dailys over the years.