We can see from chapter 3 that just because the “preacher” is coming from the viewpoint of under the sun doesn’t mean that God does not exist. We see that God still has a timetable for events and He still has work He has given to man. The “preacher” is not atheistic – but his view is not from heaven or eternity.
Ecclesiastes 3: For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.
As we look at the list and see things like a time to be born, and a time to die, a time to plant and, a time to harvest, a time to break down, and a time to build up. We can see chapter 1’s endless cycle on full display. Round and round we go. We can’t help but be burdened by keeping time, gaining time, or needing more time. Time becomes our master if God isn’t. How often do we here on earth, under the sun, push our own timing? Quite a bit. Living life out of sync with time leads to much frustration, as the good and the bad comes in like the tide, each in their own time. Just try to plant in the winter or build before plans have been drawn. It doesn’t work out so well. The Bible tells us that man’s life is but a vapor. Taking advantage of the time we do have is imperative because there isn’t much of it.
Ecclesiastes 3:9-11 What gain has the worker from his toil? 10 I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
Here we get a glimpse of hope that God is the master over time and not time itself. When we sync with God, who is over time, we see His handiwork in the midst of our work. He makes all things beautiful in there time. God put eternity into the heart of man. There is within all the things that had come before; through pleasure, work, accomplishments, and enjoyment, even through time and seasons, nature, and our inward searching a spark that leads to God and eternity. It is often obscure and mysterious, keeping us looking and longing.
Ecclesiastes 3:12-15 I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; 13 also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.14 I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him. 15 That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God seeks what has been driven away.
If we are going to live in a cycle of life that keeps ebbing and flowing. If we are going to work and toil and seek after enjoyment. If we are going to taste eternity here and there as we travel this journey of life then it would be wise to receive it all as a gift from God. How many times have we awoken to the understanding that something amazing just happened? We felt God. We sensed Him here with us and we forget the next day as time rolls on. God is eternal and it ought to matter to us. We want what we do in this life to have meaning and lasting effect but we are just a vapor and history forgets us but what God does is forever, it is permanent, complete, and firm.
Ecclesiastes 3:17 I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work.
If every deed is judged. Let every deed I do be that of what He has given and in His timing. It is the only way that it will be lasting, worth doing, and one day I will hear, “well done my good and faithful servant.