To every [thing there is] a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
Ver. 1. To everything there is a season.] A set time, such as we can neither alter nor order. This is one of those keys that God carries under his own belt. Act 1:7 To seek, to do, or get anything before the time, is to pull apples before they are ripe, saith a father, a which set the teeth on edge, and breed stomach worms. They labour in vain that would prevent the time prefixed by God, as those hasty Ephraimites in Egypt 1 Chronicles 7:22 Psa 78:9-10 those heady Israelites in the wilderness. Num 14:40 Moses would be acting the judge before his time, Exo 2:12 he is therefore sent to keep sheep in Midian. Exo 2:15 David stayed God's leisure for the kingdom, those in Esther for deliverance - they knew that God would keep his day exactly, as he did with the Israelites in Egypt. "Even the self same day," when the "four hundred and thirty years" foretold were expired, God's people were thrust out of Egypt. Exo 12:40-41 So in Daniel 5:30. In that night was Belshazzar slain; because then exactly the "seventy years" were ended. And as God fails not his own time, so he seldom comes at ours, Jer 8:20 for he loves not to be limited. We are short breathed, short sighted, apt to antedate the promises in regard of the accomplishment. Hab 2:2 And no less apt to outstand our own markets, to let slip opportunities of grace which are ever headlong, and once past, irrecoverable. "Oh, if thou hadst known at the least in this thy day," "How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?" Heb 2:3 "Therefore shall every one that is godly seek thee in a time when thou mayest be found." Psa 32:6 There is a certain time set for men to come in and be saved; as Alexander set up a taper when he besieged a town; as Tamerlane hung out first a white flag and then a red. Many a man loseth his soul, as Saul did his kingdom, by not discerning his time. Esau came too late; so did the foolish virgins. If the gale of grace be past over, the gate shut, the draw bridge taken up, there is no possibility of entrance. "Let us, therefore, fear lest a promise being left us," and an overture made us "of entering into God's rest, any of us should seem to fall short" υστερηκεναι, Heb 4:1 or come late, a day after the fair, an hour after the feast. God, who in his eternal counsel hath appointed things to be done, hath also ordained the opportunity and time wherein each thing should be done, which to neglect is such a presumption as he usually punisheth with final hardening. Eze 24:13
a Poma importuni tempore decerpunt. - Tertul.