A Time and Season for Everything under the Sun

Time and Season

There are times and seasons in life.

“There is an appointed time for everything.

And there is a time for every event under heaven—

A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
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 NASB

Time
Time

An Appointed Time

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven.

A time to give birth and a time to die.

There is a time for the earth to be born.

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” ~Genesis 1:1 WEB

“God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs to mark seasons, days, and years.” ~Genesis 1:14 WEB

And a time for the earth to die.

“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth have passed away, and the sea is no more.” ~Revelation 21:1 WEB

There is a time for human birth.

“For You formed my innermost parts; You knit me [together] in my mother’s womb.” ~Psalm 139:13 AMP

And there is a time for human death.

“And just as it is appointed and destined for all men to die once and after this [comes certain] judgement.” ~Hebrews 9:27 AMP

There is spiritual birth.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” ~John 3:16 WEB

“There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven that is given among men, by which we must be saved!” ~Acts 4:12 WEB

And there is spiritual death.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ~Romans 6:23 WEB

Let us choose to live for the Lord.

“None of us lives to himself [but to the Lord], and none of us dies to himself [but to the Lord, for] if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or we die, we belong to the Lord. For Christ died and lived again for this very purpose, that He might be Lord both of the dead and the living.” ~Romans 17:7-9 AMPC

Plant
Plant

A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.

“A time to plant/pluck up…With these words, Solomon seems to cover the entire field of agriculture, linked closely as it is with the seasons of the year (Genesis 8:22). Failure to observe these seasons in planting and harvesting can only spell disaster.” [MD 818]

“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” ~Genesis 8:22 NASB

“Do not be deceived. God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” ~Galatians 6:7 WEB

“Being an agricultural people, they appreciated the seasons. Men may plow and sow, but only God can give the increase. A successful farmer knows that nature works for him only if he works with nature. This is also the secret of a successful life: learn God’s principles and cooperate with them.” [WBC OT 1118]

“Conduct yourself with wisdom in your interactions with outsiders (non-believers), make the most of each opportunity [treating it as something precious].” ~Colossians 4:5 AMP

“Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praises to our God with the [stringed instrument], Who covers the heavens with clouds, Who provides rain for the earth, Who makes grass grow on the mountains.”

“The Lord favors those who fear and worship Him [with awe-inspired reverence and obedience], those who wait for His mercy and lovingkindness.” ~Psalm 147:7-8, 11 AMP

Heal
Heal


A time to kill and a time to heal.

“It seemed to Solomon that life was either a slaughterhouse or a hospital, a battlefield or a first-aid station.” [MD 8181]

“This probably refers to the results of sickness and plague in the land, not to war or self-defense.” [WBC OT 1118]

 

There is physical death, spiritual death, and mental or emotional death.

“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” ~Matthew 10:28 NASB

“[God] heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds.” ~Psalm 147:3 WEB

Build
Build

A time to tear down and a time to build up.

“Solomon, as a master builder and developer of ancient architectural wonders, would have been well acquainted with the need to tear down and remove, old crumbling buildings before rebuilding new structures in their place.”1

As Christians, we tear down the earthly or fleshly nature and ‘put on’ the new self, which is in the very likeness of the Maker, our Creator.

And the Lord “called us to ‘put to death’ the misdeeds of our sinful nature so that we can lie a new and wholesome life by the power of the Spirit. We are to consider ourselves ‘dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.’”2

“For if you live according to [the dictates of] the flesh, you will surely die. But if through the power of the [Holy] Spirit you are [habitually] putting to death (making extinct, deadening) the [evil] deeds prompted by the body, you shall [really and genuinely] live forever.” ~Romans 8:13 AMPC

“Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.” ~Colossians 3:5 NASB

“Even so, consider yourselves to be dead to sin [and your relationship to it broken], but alive to God [in unbroken fellowship with Him] in Christ Jesus.” ~Romans 6:11 AMP

“And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.” ~Galatians 6:9 AMPC

“Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him.” ~Colossians 3:9-10 NASB

Laughter
Laughter

A time to weep and a time to laugh;

A time to mourn and a time to dance.

“The funeral procession passes by with its mourners wailing in grief. But before long, these same people are dancing at a wedding reception, quickly removed from their recent sorrow.” [MD 818]

“Mourners tore their clothes and comforters remained silent during times of grief, but people were free to repair clothes and freely converse at other times.” [Moody 976]

My husband and I just attended a dear friend’s funeral. It was heartbreaking! Yet, we are celebrating two weddings and the birth of a new grandbaby in the same timeframe. We weep and mourn in our grief for our friend, then turn to celebrate new life and new marriages in our family.

“Rejoice with those who rejoice. Weep with those who weep.” ~Romans 12:15 WEB

Stone House
Stone House

A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones.

“There is a time to clear land for cultivation, then to gather the stones for building houses, walls, or other projects.” [MD 818]

“Throwing and gathering most likely refers to sabotaging a field in war or clearing a field in peace.” [Moody 976]

“It is a rocky land, and farmers must clear their fields before they can plow and plant. If you wanted to hurt an enemy, you filled up his field with stones. People also gathered stones for building walls and houses.”

“Stones are neither good nor bad; it all depends on what you do with them. If your enemy fills your land with rocks, don’t throw them back. Build something out of them!” [WBC OT 1118]

Embrace
Embrace

A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.

“People in the Near East openly show their affections, kissing and hugging when they meet and when they part. So, you could paraphrase this, ‘A time to say hello and a time to say good-bye.’” [WBC OT 1118]

“In the realm of affections, there is a time for involvement and a time for withdrawal.” [MD 818]

Search for Truth
Search for Truth

A time to search and a time to give up as lost.

“Preach the word [as an official messenger]; be ready when the time is right and even when it is not [keep your sense of urgency, whether the opportunity seems favorable or unfavorable, whether convenient or inconvenient, whether welcome or unwelcome]; correct [those who err in doctrine or behavior], warn [those who sin], exhort and encourage [those who are growing toward spiritual maturity], with inexhaustible patience and [faithful] teaching.”

“For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine and accurate instruction [that challenges them with God’s truth]; but wanting to have their ears tickled [with something pleasing], they will accumulate for themselves [many] teachers [one after another, chosen] to satisfy their own desires and to support the errors they hold, and will turn their ears away from the truth and will wander off into myths and man-made fictions [and will accept the unacceptable].” ~2 Timothy 4:2-4 AMP

“Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through Me.” ~John 14:6 WEB

World Map
World Map

A time to keep and a time to throw away.

“Earthly pursuits are good in their proper place and time, but unprofitable when pursued as the chief goal.” [MA 736]

God also keeps nations and its leaders and dissolves nations and its leaders.

“It is He who changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and establishes kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and [greater] knowledge to those who have understanding~” ~Daniel 2:21 AMP

Sew
Sew

A time to tear apart and a time to sew together.

“This probably refers to the [Eastern] practice of tearing one’s garments during a time of grief or repentance. God expects us to sorrow during bereavement, but not like unbelievers. There comes a time when we must get out the needle and thread and start sewing things up!” [WBC OT 1118]

Speak Truth
Speak Truth

A time to be silent and a time to speak.

“The time to keep silent is when we are criticized unjustly, when we are tempted to criticize others, or to say things that are untrue, unkind, or unedifying. A time to speak is when some great principle or cause is at stake.” [MD 818]

“But be on your guard; for they will deliver you to the courts, and you will be [beaten] in the [religious places], and you will stand before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them.” ~Mark 13:9 NASB

“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” ~James 1:5 NASB

Love One Another
Love One Another

A time to love and a time to hate.

“Solomon was not speaking as a Christian but as a man of the world. It seemed to Solomon that human behavior fluctuated between periods of love and periods of hate.” [MD 8181]

“Life is something like a doctor’s prescription: taken alone, the ingredients might kill you; but properly blended, they bring healing. God is sovereignly in control and has a time and a purpose for everything. It is the wise providence of a loving Father who does all things well and promises to make everything work for good.” [WBC OT 1119]

“Therefore see that you walk carefully [living life with honor, purpose, and courage; shunning those who tolerate and enable evil], not as the unwise, but as wise [sensible, intelligent, discerning people], making the very most of your time [on earth, recognizing and taking advantage of each opportunity and using it with wisdom and diligence], because the days are [filled with] evil.

Therefore, do not be foolish and thoughtless, but understand and firmly grasp what the will of the Lord is.” ~ Ephesians 5:16 AMP

We Are One
We Are One

A time for war and a time for peace.

Solomon “addresses attraction and repulsion, whether in personal relations (love and hate) or corporate relations (war and peace).” [Moody 976]

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” ~John 14:17 NASB

Conclusion

“This poem affirms that no state of affairs under the sun is permanent. Life’s activities are changing and fleeting, not static and enduring. Moreover, no one can ultimately control these seasons of life. They are in God’s hands.” [Moody 976]

“The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.” ~Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 NASB

Recommendations:

How to Find God – Strength with Dignity

How to Examine the Soil of Our Hearts – Strength with Dignity

References:

1 What Does It Mean that there is a Time to Break Down and a Time to Build up (Ecclesiastes 3:3)? Published by Got Questions. Retrieved November 3, 2022, from What does it mean that there is a time to break down and a time to build up (Ecclesiastes 3:3)? | GotQuestions.org

2 What Does It Mean that there is a Time to Kill and a Time to Heal (Ecclesiasts 3:3)? Published by Got Questions. Retrieved November 3, 2022, from What does it mean that there is a time to kill and a time to heal (Ecclesiastes 3:3)? | GotQuestions.org

100 Bible Verses about Times and Seasons. Published by Open Bible. Retrieved November 1, 2022, from What Does the Bible Say About Times And Seasons? (openbible.info)
MacArthur, John. [MA] The MacArthur Bible Commentary. Thomas Nelson, 2005, page 736.

MacDonald, William. [MD] Believer’s Bible Commentary. Thomas Nelson, 2016, page 818.

The Moody Bible Commentary. General Editors: Michael Rydelnik and Michael Van Laningham. Moody Publishers, 2014, page 976.

Wiersbe, Warren B. The Wiersbe Bible Commentary: The Complete Old Testament. [WBC OT] Published by David C. Cook, 2007, pages 1118-9.

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14 thoughts on “A Time and Season for Everything under the Sun”

  1. So true. There is a time and a season for everything under the sun. I’m sorry about the loss of your dear friend. Always tragic, regardless of age or circumstance. Yet congratulations on the weddings and a new grandbaby. Our sorrows and our joys have to coexist side by side, don’t they?

    1. Our joys and sorrows do need to coexist in our heart and emotions, Lisa. We have moments of weeping and moments of rejoicing. Our hearts are full because of God’s love and the people we love.

  2. Lisa, I can’t tell you how much this encouraged me today. I appreciate your further explanations and resources here. I gleaned a greater understanding from your breakdown of these verses.
    Thank you for sharing these with Sweet Tea & Friends this month.

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