Just In Time

We are going to look at Ecclesiastes 3:1-15 tonight. It’s one of the best known parts of the book of Ecclesiastes. If you are a child of the 60s you probably remember the song “Turn, Turn, Turn” by the Birds which takes this chapter word for word and puts it to music.

Let’s read it.

”To every [thing there is] a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up [that which is] planted; 3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. 9 What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth? 10 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it. 11 He hath made every [thing] beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. 12 I know that [there is] no good in them, but for [a man] to rejoice, and to do good in his life. 13 And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it [is] the gift of God. 14 I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth [it], that [men] should fear before him. 15 That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.”

I don’t think the birds understood what they were singing. This whole chapter is about time. And it makes some very important points about time.

Before we get into it, let me give you some quotes I found on time:

If you love life, don't waste time, for time is what life is made up of.

Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago. - Warren Buffet

Yesterday's the past, tomorrow's the future, but today is a gift. That's why it's called the present.

Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana. (You’ll get that in a minute.)

Actually, if you look for quotes on time you’ll find thousands and thousands of them. If you go to the bookstore there are whole sections of books on Time Management. I’ve probably read a dozen books on time management, I’ve read two books on time management for Pastors this year. Think about that - if there are two books on time management written by and for pastors, there are a lot of books on time management.

This passage from

1. There are preset seasons of life. (1)

A wise person takes full advantage of the season they are in. You don’t plant during the harvest and don’t harvest during the spring.

Personal recollection: The most wasted time is young adulthood. Don’t waste your adolescence and your twenties doing nothing. Invest it in your future.

2. We are all heading towards a time of death, and we should live with that in view. (2)

Examples: Steve Jobs, Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture)

3. You can’t stop the clock. (2-8)

Story: boy with the string.

4. You cannot escape the bad times. (2-8)

No amount of money or prestige is going to keep you from experiencing the bad times in your life. No matter how good the good times, the bad times are coming.

5. You should enjoy the good times as gifts from God (2-8, 13)

6. Even our greatest difficulties are in God’s hand and He will make them beautiful (10-11)

7.God’s timing is perfect. (11a)

8. God makes us yearn for something beyond time. (11b)

9. If we want our time to last, we should be focused on God’s will. (14)

10. God is going to judge us for our use of time. (15b)