To Everything There Is A Season | Ecclesiastes 3:8

We have come to the end of Solomon’s “a time to” statements in Ecclesiastes 3. As we look at verse 8 today, we will deal with strong emotions, societal interaction, and our relationship with God.

A Time To Love, And A Time To Hate
In any language, love and hate are doubtless the two most intense emotions which man can have. The Hebrew word here for love is ‘ahab. It can be used of brotherly affection we might have for one another (Leviticus 19:18, 34) or of the more intimate relationship shared between lovers (Song of Solomon 3:4). The word can refer to our yearning for things such as food, drink, sleep or wisdom (Genesis 27:4). It is also used of man’s love for God (Deuteronomy 6:5).

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To Everything There Is A Season | Ecclesiastes 3:7

Again we turn our attention to wise Solomon’s statements as found in Ecclesiastes 3.

A Time To Tear, And A Time To Sew
The word “tear” primarily appears in Scripture when one has torn their clothing, through grief, distress, anger, etc.. Though it is not a custom of our culture, we can understand through the abrupt nature of this action the great turmoil and distress which is involved. It is a strong expression of sorrow or of displeasure.

Jacob, mourning the apparent death of his son Joseph tore his clothes in grief (Genesis 37:34). When the people of Israel chose to follow the bad advice of the other spies sent to Canaan, and in the process turned from the LORD, Joshua and Caleb tore their clothing (Numbers 14:6). Recall, when Jonah went to Nineveh, we read that all the residents of that place, from the king to the least of them, put on sackcloth (which often accompanies or parallels the tearing of one’s clothing) and sat in ashes, repenting of their wickedness (Jonah 3:4-6).

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To Everything There Is A Season | Ecclesiastes 3:6

Among the topics touched on by Solomon’s poetic verse is finance. Today we’ll consider some rudimentary instruction from Ecclesiastes 3.

A Time To Gain, And A Time To Lose
At least two extreme positions exist with regard to the Scriptures and money. Some believe that every faithful child of God should be extraordinarily wealthy, as God is the owner of all things, and we, as His people are heirs to all things (Colossians 1:16; 1 Timothy 6:17; Hebrews 3:4; cf. 3 John 1:2). Others will go to the opposite extreme, affirming the danger of riches (1 Timothy 6:10) and citing the Lord’s command to some that they sell all (Luke 18:22; Matthew 19:21). As with many cases, the truth is not at the extremes, but between them.

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To Everything There Is A Season | Ecclesiastes 3:5

Again we consider the words of wise Solomon from Ecclesiastes 3.

A Time To Cast Away Stones, And A Time To Gather Stones
As a child, I knew much about casting away stones. Year after year, I would labour in my grandparents’ garden, and among the duties delegated to me was to get rid of the stones. As much as I had cleared the land of stones the previous year, sure enough, “a time to cast away stones” came again.

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To Everything There Is A Season | Ecclesiastes 3:4

by William J. Stewart

Among the innate features of humanity is the ability to experience and display emotion. As we continue to look at Solomon’s instruction from Ecclesiastes 3, we consider some of these God-given traits.

A Time To Weep, And A Time To Laugh
No one looks forward to times of grief and affliction, but they inevitably will come. Job lamented in his sorrows with these words, “…affliction does not come from the dust, nor does trouble spring from the ground; yet man is born of trouble, as the sparks fly upward” (Job 5:7), and again, “Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble” (Job 14:1).

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To Everything There Is A Season | Ecclesiastes 3:3

by William J. Stewart

Our study through Solomon’s “…a time to…” statements continues.

A Time To Kill, And A Time To Heal
As we consider the first clause of this statement, it is noteworthy that the word “kill” here (Heb. harag) is not the same Hebrew word used in Exodus 20:13 (Heb. rasach), where God commanded, “Thou shalt not kill” (KJV). Solomon is not advocating murder. Murder is never condoned in the Bible. Though harag is sometimes used to refer to murderous action (ie. Genesis 4:8), it is often used to refer to deaths resulting from wars (Numbers 31:7-8) or capital punishment (Deuteronomy 13:6-11). It is likely that in this text, Solomon has in mind these times of war. Continue reading

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To Everything There Is A Season | Ecclesiastes 3:2

by William J. Stewart

The “…a time to…” statements of Ecclesiastes 3 are simple, relatable tidbits, but they carry within them the wonderful insights which Solomon received from God regarding the affairs of the world. Much thought can be provoked in each case. This week, we will consider Ecclesiastes 3:2. Continue reading

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To Everything There Is A Season | Ecclesiastes 3:1

by William J. Stewart

Did you know Solomon had a #1 hit? In 1965, The Byrds, an American rock band, released the song “Turn, Turn, Turn.” The lyrics have been attributed to Peter Seeger, however, all but the title and the first two lines of the song come from Ecclesiastes 3, which was written by Solomon. The words were popularized by The Byrds, but it was God’s Spirit that inspired the wise king of Israel to write it. We will focus on this simple yet profound text over the next several weeks. Continue reading

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Remember

by William J. Stewart

Since WWI, November 11 has been used to commemorate those who gave their lives in times of war. The day is titled differently, depending upon your country of origin. In the USA, it is called Veteran’s Day. For the Polish, it is Independence Day. Folks in France and New Zealand call it Armistice Day; on Malta and in South Africa, Poppy Day. In the United Kingdom and it’s commonwealth countries (Canada included), it is generally referred to as Remembrance Day.

It is certainly a good thing to remember those who gave themselves to preserve the temporal freedoms which we enjoy. However, we ought to remember also that the Lord Jesus gave Himself, not for our temporal pleasures, but for our eternal benefit. Let us consider a few things the Bible says regarding remembrance. Continue reading

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A Contrast Between Two Men

by Sunday Ayandare | Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria

The Book of Proverbs presents to us a contrast between two women. On one hand is an immoral, seductress type who “flatters with her words; … of a crafty heart, who is loud and rebellious…” (Proverbs 7:5, 10-11). On the other hand is the virtuous type whose worth “is far above rubies” (Proverbs 31:10-29). Continue reading

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