Having exposed the emptiness of life without God, Solomon focuses His attention on God and His control over events and time. The knowledge that there is a God in heaven who is knows all things and oversees all things should colour every aspect of our lives.
- God assigns a time for everything, so be realistic (v.1-10). Ecclesiastes 3 begins with a beautiful poem about there being a time to every purpose under heaven: birth-death, plant-reap, kill-heal, destroy-build, weep-laugh, mourn-dance, cast-gather, embrace-separate, get-lose, keep-discard, tear-sew, silence-speak, love-hate, war-peace. As we consider that God has set up life in cycle and times, it helps us to be realistic about time. The good in this life will not always last, but the bad will not last forever either. Our confidence should not be any one event lasting forever or giving fulfilment but in the Lord who oversees all things.
- God makes everything beautiful in His time, so trust God (v.11). Every human being desires to know the meaning and purpose of life, but that can only be found by trusting God. He alone holds the plans and purposes of life and some of it will remain a mystery to us. Our job is not always to understand but to trust the one who is in control.
- God gifts us with time, so enjoy it and do good with it (v.12-15). Understanding that God is in control should not cause fatalism. Instead, it should promote
stewardshipof life and time. As Solomon says, the only thing we can do with the life we have is: make the most of it; do good, knowing that God is in control and will judge each person for how they live this life.
- God allows injustice for a time, but will eventually judge all people, so be patient (v.16-22). Time flies when you are having fun, but drags when you are not. And for many people, life is hard and full of suffering. Even in the places where there should be justice, there is often iniquity and oppression. But all of us can rest in the knowledge that one day all men will one day stand before God. Then there will be ultimate justice. So if you are suffering, be
patienceand wait on the Lord. He will help you and bring forth justice in the end.
What is your attitude toward time? Are you placing too much hope in this life and what it offers? Are you despairing about life’s purpose and wasting the gift of life? Do you view all of life through the lens of God’s control of time and eternity.
Life is short. Life is a gift. Use it for the glory of God.