“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:” Ecc 3:1
It is amazing that God ordained all things to happen inside his timing and will. He set up the rules and order of this world and set all things in there place. God has, as Ecclesiastes 3 says, given everything a season and a time.
What does this mean for our lives though?
Has God so controlled our lives and actions that we have no freedom?
No! Rather God has placed markers and “signs” and given us his word that we might understand that every action, desire, and outcome has a place. No thing that happens to us is ever out of Gods control, and we need not fear finding ourselves in a situation that He has not planned.
Solomon uses quite a few “this/that” statements to show the control and placement of things in this world. These few verses are easy to both over and under spiritualize, however they are powerful statements of Gods control and plan for our world and lives.
Born and Die (V.2)
Solomon starts out slow and easy by just letting us know that God has ordained a time for our birth and our death. No accidents occur in Gods world. No one has been born or ever will be born that God did not know about first. Just as know one has been born a surprise to God no one has died as a surprise to God. We enter and exit this world as a planned creation of God, and he watches out for us throughout it all. (Matt 10:29)
Break Down and Build Up (V.3)
Christ is referred to as the potter (Isa 64:8) and we the clay. If you ever watch a potter throw a clay pot it is fascinating to watch. Sometimes after working on a pot and building it up for hours a flaw might be found in the construction. If there is a fault found a potter doesn’t try to fix that hole or just put clay over it, instead he breaks down the work he has done back into a pile so that he can start fresh.
As the clay, solomon points to the fact that there are God ordained times of building where we might rise as leaders and teachers, however because of our own flawed nature when we get out of sync with God or prideful there is also a God ordained time of breaking down.
Silence and Speech (V.7)
It is ordained through the discernment of the Holy Spirit, and through the reading of the Bible the knowledge of when to speak. There are times that we are called as Christians to speak up and say what God has taught us. (David and Goliath being a good Old Testament Example) However, there are also times that God has given us the wisdom to stay silent.
Most of us, unfortunately, have a case of the opposites. When someone is running down our God or God is calling us to share we stay silent. When someone is asking us about gossip or we have opinions we speak. God has called us to seek out the times when he has called us to speech and silence. Pray only that He gives us the wisdom to know the difference.
War and Peace (V.8)
Similare to speech and silence it can be hard to discern which of these God has ordained in a specific situation. As humans we tend to go to war over little things and keep the peace when barbarians are at the gate.
Understand, God has given us the call to war as a tool to be used. There is nothing wrong with standing your ground and holding a position you believe. We are called however to make sure to only use that tool when it is appropriate.
Romans says it best like this “in as much as it is up to you, live at peace with all men” (Rm 12:18) This is a call to use discernment. A call to say that if its not a must issue than choose peace. However, if it is against the Bible or Gods authority ….prepare for war.