Good Timing

May 31, 2012 at 11:27 am | Posted in Ecclesiastes | 5 Comments
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This passage from Ecclesiastes is one of the most well-known passages in the Bible. A group called The Byrds even used it in a hit song.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break 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 cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Does the Bible really sanction “a time to kill?” Some examples would be just warfare, a husband defending his wife, a parent defending his or her children, and self-defense.

There is “a time to heal” physically and emotionally. Forgiveness is the remedy for healing broken relationships.

What is the “time to break down?” We are supposed to be breaking down the enemy’s strong holds, even as God’s Spirit breaks our own pride.

There is “a time to build up” and this might happen when you edify your fellow Sunday School members, when you minister in the love of Christ, when you offer encouragement to someone who is working hard, when we engage in grief counseling or marriage counseling, just to name a few.

We know there is “a time to weep.” Sometimes we weep for joy, sometimes for grief. Sometimes we weep in repentance over sin. And there is “a time to laugh.” (When your Sunday School teacher tells a joke, go ahead and laugh even if it’s a lame joke – it will make him feel better.)

There is “a time to cast away stones.” This can be literal – as in the clearing of land for farming or building – or it can be figurative. We “cast away the stones” we were about to use to throw at someone in condemnation, and instead decide to show grace and mercy. There is “a time to gather stones together” when we are building, or, at times, we participate in the government-sanctioned execution of justice.

There is “a time to embrace:” Married couples should do this a lot! And there is “a time to refrain from embracing:” There should not be any romantic or sexual embracing outside of marriage!

There is “a time to get” (payday), and “a time to lose” (bill paying day).

There is “a time to keep” (saving something valuable), and “a time to cast away” (hoarding).

Sometimes it is “time to rend:” to tear something apart. Sometimes it is “time to sew:” to mend that which has been torn.

All those things are from God – but they are to be done in His time and for His purpose.

I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.

Ecclesiates 3:17

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  1. […] most of us, but even he could not truly faith its depths. 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 […]

  2. […] to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great upon […]

  3. […] the Sun 4. Break It Up! 5. Right Where You’re Supposed to Be 6. Do Birds Sing about Eternity? 7. Good Timing 8. Order in a Fallen World 9. Working for a Living 10. Fresh, Frail, or Fruitful? 11. Two Kinds of […]

  4. […] 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 […]

  5. […] the Sun 4. Break It Up! 5. Right Where You’re Supposed to Be 6. Do Birds Sing about Eternity? 7. Good Timing 8. Order in a Fallen World 9. Working for a Living 10. Fresh, Frail, or Fruitful? 11. Two Kinds of […]


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