Ecclesiastes 3:1 - Sermon Bible Commentary

Bible Comments

Ecclesiastes 3:1-15

I. Not only has God made everything, but there is a beauty in this arrangement where all is fortuitous to us, but all is fixed by Him. "He hath made everything beautiful in its time," and that season must be beautiful which to infinite love and wisdom seems the best. "Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the creation;" and, so to speak, each day that dawns, though its dawning include an earthquake, a battle, or a deluge each day that dawns, however many it surprises, is no surprise to Him who sees the end from the beginning, and who in each evolving incident but sees the fulfilment of His "determined counsel" the translation into fact of one other omniscient picture of the future.

II. The works of God are distinguished by opportuneness of development and precision of purpose. There is a season for each of them, and each comes in its season. All of them have a function to fulfil, and they fulfil it. To which (Ecclesiastes 3:14) the Preacher adds that they are all of their kind consummate, so perfect that no improvement can be made; and left to themselves, they will be perpetual. How true is this regarding God's greatest work: redemption! In doing it, He has done it "for ever."

III. There is a uniformity in the Divine procedure (Ecclesiastes 3:15). There are certain great principles from which infinite wisdom never deviates. Through all the operations of nature, providence, and grace "that which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past."

J. Hamilton, The Royal Preacher,Lecture VIII.

Reference: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. Bishop Harvey Goodwin, Parish Sermons,3rd series, p. 334.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-15

1 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,a 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.b