Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 “To Every Thing There Is A Season, and A Time To Every Purpose Under The Heaven”

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Ecc 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

Ecc 3:2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

Ecc 3:3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

Ecc 3:4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

Ecc 3:5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

Ecc 3:6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

Ecc 3:7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

Ecc 3:8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Ecc 3:9 What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?

Ecc 3:10 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.

Ecc 3:11 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.

Solomon’s father, King David, revealed to his son Solomon and to all of us that mankind is born in sin and is of himself “altogether vanity” even in his best state.

Psa 39:5 Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.

Psa 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

But King David had the hope of more than just this life:

Psa 110:1 A Psalm of David. The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

Psa 110:2 The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.

Psa 110:3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.

Psa 110:4 The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.

Of course King Solomon started out with this same Godly spirit of hope in his God:

Pro 14:32 The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death.

But as we saw in our previous study, King Solomon apostatized, and in this book of Ecclesiastes his hopeless apostate spirit has dominated the first two chapters where his emphasis is on the vanity and vexation of spirit which is the sense of loss of our old first man Adam. The word ‘vanity’ has been the dominant subject throughout the first two chapters of this book, appearing 12 times with many more to come.

But in this third chapter, this word appears only one time, while “a time to every purpose under heaven” is the theme of this third chapter. So the vanity of life is revealed even by Solomon to refer to the flesh and those whose hope is in their flesh. Such an empty and desperate and hopeless spirit has no place within the lives of any whose hope is in Christ and in the realm of the spirit in which He dwells.

So even in his apostate state Solomon tells us:

Ecc 3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

This is much more in line with what King Solomon said when his relationship with His Maker was fresh and humble, when he knew and realized that God had a good purpose for even the evil which He himself made to be destroyed, as is revealed in verses like these:

Pro 16:1 The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.

Pro 16:4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

Pro 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.

In Proverbs there was purpose and a reason for everything the Lord did, and a humble King Solomon, the type of us before we lose our first love, encouraged us to appreciate even our most severe trials:

Pro 3:11 My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:

Pro 3:12 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

This third chapter of Ecclesiastes hearkens back to what we once knew to be the Truth, that God has a purpose for everything He is working in our lives and in the lives of all men of all time. This chapter gives us to know that even the wickedness of our lives has a time and a purpose, and that purpose is to work good out of the evil of our lives as only God is capable of doing:

Ecc 3:2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

There can be no “last Adam” until after “the first man Adam”.

1Co 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

1Co 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

1Co 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.

Both ‘Adams’ are born ‘out of the ground”. But all who believe on the last Adam will not die, whereas ‘the first man Adam’, was created, “planted”, for the very purpose of dying and being destroyed, being “plucked up” and cast into the fiery judgment of God. It is through his death and destruction that “the last man Adam” is planted and will never be plucked up or destroyed.

Joh 11:26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

Because it is our ‘life’ which is hidden with God in Christ, physical death is merely the perfecting of that new life from Christ’s perspective. Because we are “in Him”, we are already dead to this physical realm, and alive in Him. Hence He can Truthfully say: “… whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die”.

Col 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

Col 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

Col 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

Col 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

But the natural man always appears first and must come to see himself as dead to this physical body, but alive in spirit to God in Christ. So Solomon is speaking beyond his own understanding, as we all do, when he continues:

Ecc 3:3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

With the eyes of Christ we see this verse being fulfilled in these words:

1Co 15:35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?

1Co 15:36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:

1Co 15:37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:

1Co 15:38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.

If we really are “dead and our life is hid with Christ in God” then, and not until that time, we can begin to be judged now, first, in this age:

Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

So the ‘dying’ spoken of here in Heb 9:27 is the ‘dead’ of Col 3:3.

Col 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

In like manner, the ‘judgment’ of Heb 9:27 is the judgment of these verses in 1 Peter:

1Pe 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

Whatever is the “end of them that obey not the gospel of Christ, it must “first begin at us” who are blessed to know that “the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God, and it is we, who first must experience His wrath against the kingdom of our old first man Adam:

Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

Eph 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Eph 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

We all “were” in our own appointed time “children of disobedience” under the wrath of God who had appointed a “time to kill” our carnal minded old man, and “a time to heal” us of that rebellious dying condition through the death and destruction of that rebellious carnal minded old, first man Adam. Truly there us for us all “A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up”.

The scriptures actually teach us that God’s wrath is the path through which we must enter into His temple:

Rev 15:7 And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.

Rev 15:8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

The words “no man” leaves no one out. This is, of course, in complete accord with this verse of scripture:

1Co 3:21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;

1Co 3:22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;

“The world”? “Death”? “Things present and things to come”? Does that include “the seven plagues of the seven angels”? Does it include “every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God… the things written… the sayings of the prophecy of this book”? The answer in every case is, ‘Yes, ” all things are [ ours]”, even the seven plagues of the seven angels which fill up the wrath of God against the beastly kingdom of our carnal minded, rebellious, God condemning, old, first man Adam.’

Our ‘death’, our “time to kill”, is a “daily… crucified… offering… [ of our] old man… for His body’s sake, which is the church”.

1Co 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

Col 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufffor his body’s sake, which is the church:

So Solomon continues to speak beyond his own understanding when he tells us that “there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven”:

Ecc 3:4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

Later in this book we are told:

Ecc 7:1 A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.

Ecc 7:2 It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.

Ecc 7:3 Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.

Ecc 7:4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.

If the day of the death of our old man is better than the day of his birth, then it ought not be ‘vanity and a vexation of spirit’ for our old man to “die daily”. But the fact is that not one word of these first four verses of Ecc 7 computes in the mind of our carnal, natural- minded old man. For that reason the “all things” of 1Co 3:21-22 includes the ‘daily dying’ of our carnal- minded old man. He, his kingdom, and the fate of his kingdom, are all a large part of “every word which proceeds out of the mouth of God”, and since “that which is natural… is first”, we will all endure the mourning of the passing and the dying of our own flesh. This is the same event as the death and destruction of the great harlot within us all. She and the beast on which she sits must be destroyed within us, and we simply cannot, at first, relinquish our own flesh.

The story of Abraham casting out “the son of the bondwoman” demonstrates just how attached we all are to our own carnal minded flesh.

Gal 4:28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.

Gal 4:29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.

Here is Abraham’s reaction to learning that God would replace Ishmael with a son who was born of Sarah, “of promise” and not “after the flesh”:

Gen 17:17 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?

Gen 17:18 And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!

The passing of the flesh of our ‘old man’ will always be mourned by all of us:

Num 20:29 And when all the congregation saw that Aaron was dead, they mourned for Aaron thirty days, even all the house of Israel.

1Sa 15:35 And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the LORD repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.

2Sa 1:12 And they mourned, and wept, and fasted until even, for Saul, and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of the LORD, and for the house of Israel; because they were fallen by the sword.

Here is how King David reacted at the news of the death of his own flesh, his worst enemy, his own son Absalom, when Absalom was intent on destroying his own father, King David:

2Sa 18:32 And the king said unto Cushi, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Cushi answered, The enemies of my lord the king, and all that rise against thee to do thee hurt, be as that young man is.

2Sa 18:33 And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!

The apostle Paul felt the same way concerning his “kinsmen according to the flesh”:

Rom 9:1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,

Rom 9:2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.

Rom 9:3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:

Rom 9:4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;

Rom 9:5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

But ever since the day of Pentecost, though it was not known at that time, physical pedigree is of no more value than a pile of dung in the eyes of God, and being a ‘Jew’ or an ‘Israelite’ is now a matter of being “in Christ”, and it is no longer “according to the flesh”:

Rom 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:

Rom 2:29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

Gal 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Gal 3:29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Ecc 3:5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

Ecc 3:6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

As “lively stones [ we] are built up a spiritual house… to God by Christ Jesus”. As such He has seen to it that we are a scattered few, and in that sense we are “cast away” from each other.

Mat 26:31 Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.

Act 8:2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.

Act 8:3 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.

Act 8:4 Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.

Act 11:19 Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.

In Christ we are “gathered together” as lively stones to make a house for God. We are God’s house, and He does not dwell in temples made with men’s hands.

1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

1Co 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

1Pe 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

We are to embrace Christ and “get wisdom” – His words.

Pro 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom [ Christ]: and with all thy getting get understanding.

Pro 4:8 Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.

We are to “refrain from embracing” the great harlot with all her “doctrines of devils”.

Pro 5:20 And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger? [ Babylon and her doctrines]

1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

So the time to “get wisdom” is also the “time to lose” the wisdom of this world and its Babylonian doctrines which “seem right unto a man”.

Pro 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

Pro 16:25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

When we lose the wisdom of this world, we are losing our life in this world, which is what our Lord instructs us we must do. Here is a very Biblical “time to lose”:

Mat 10:39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

The things we are to keep are Godly wisdom and His words and His doctrines:

Psa 119:129 Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them.

Pro 4:20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.

Pro 4:21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.

Stones which are infected with diseases are to be cast into an unclean place “without the city” of God, and never to be touched.

Lev 14:40 Then the priest shall command that they take away the stones in which the plague is, and they shall cast them into an unclean place without the city:

Truly there is “A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;”

Because we will “live by every word which proceeds out of the mouth of God”, and because “all things are [ ours], we will both rend and sow at our own appointed time in keeping these words which have proceeded directly out of the mouth of our Lord:

Mat 9:16 No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse.

Mat 9:17 Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.

There was a great deal of sewing done in the construction of the tabernacle of God, and even now we are told that we are to be “knit together in love”.

Col 2:1 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;

Col 2:2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;

So we are told:

Ecc 3:7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

It is Solomon who also tells us:

Pro 9:7 He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.

Pro 9:8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.

Pro 9:9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.

Again we are told:

Pro 26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

But there is also “a time to speak, as the very next verse informs us:

Pro 26:5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

Christ, who is wisdom, gives us examples of both “a time to keep silence, and a time to speak”:

Joh 8:3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,

Joh 8:4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

Joh 8:5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

Joh 8:6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

Joh 8:7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

Joh 8:8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

Joh 8:9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

Joh 8:10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

Joh 8:11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

Jesus knew exactly when and what to say in every situation. He was the personification of this verse in Proverbs:

Pro 25:11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.

If we lack the wisdom to know exactly when is “a time to keep silence, and a time to speak”, then we are instructed to “ask of God”, and we are told “it shall be given him”:

Jas 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

There is also:

Ecc 3:8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Here are a few Biblical examples of when we are to love, and when we are to hate:

Psa 119:163 I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love.

Amo 5:15 Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.

Mat 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Mat 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Contrary to what many teach, we are not to remain “just as I am”, as the old hymn claims. Rather Christ will deliver and redeem all sinners from sin, and for that reason He loved us when we were yet sinners:

Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

Eph 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Eph 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Eph 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

Christ did not spend His life dying to sin so you and I could continue to live in sin. Rather He died to sin, so He could be raised from the dead and could come to us and live His life within us.

King David even speaks of “a perfect hatred” which we, too, must have for our old man, and for his carnal- minded, rebellious ways:

Psa 139:19 Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.

Psa 139:20 For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.

Psa 139:21 Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?

Psa 139:22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.

God himself, while He loves us ourselves, considers our old, self- righteous, God- condemning man to be His enemy within us:

Job 13:24 Why do thou hide thy face, and reckon me for thine enemy? (ACV)

The “wicked” who the Lord “will slay” is “the wicked man” within us, and in every man, who He has made for our own “day of evil”:

Pro 16:4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

So it is not contradiction at all to realize that the Lord is in the process of burning up the kingdom of our rebellious, carnal- minded, old man, and at the same time say, “he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire”.

1Co 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

1Co 3:14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

1Co 3:15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Here is the Biblical “time of war”:

Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Eph 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

These verses of Ephesians six are the very war within the heavens of our hearts and minds which is being referenced in these verses of Rev 12:

Rev 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

Rev 12:8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

Rev 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Here also is the “time of peace”:

Psa 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

In Christ we are enjoying “great peace”, even as we wage “war in heaven”, simply because we know that the adversary has already lost this battle.

Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Our flesh continues to mourn its loss:

Ecc 3:9 What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?

Ecc 3:10 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.

If indeed “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”, then that “purpose” will be revealed in His time. All things are done at His season, His time, and always according to His purpose:

Eph 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

Let’s look at verse 10 here and compare it with verse 13 of chapter one, both in the King James:

Ecc 1:13 And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.

Ecc 3:10 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.

The “travail” of Ecc 1:13 is the exact same Hebrew word in both cases (inyan, H6045), and it is the same “experience” in both cases. As we saw in our study of chapter one, the word translated ‘sore’ in “sore travail” is the Hebrew word ‘ra’, and it should be translated as ‘evil’. It is the same word translated ‘evil’ when we read of “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”. It is not ‘the tree of the knowledge of good and calamity’ as some want to twist this word to read. It is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and “it is an evil experience God has given to the sons of man to be humbled by it” in both Ecc 1:13, and here in Ecc 3:10.

Solomon sees that God has given man an evil experience to humble him by it, but he has not been given to see what is God’s purpose in humbling mankind.

We all will forget what we have already learned, and we will all return to mourning the loss of the life of our carnalminded old man. Solomon has already informed us the purpose for this physical life

Here is the Concordant Literal Version of Ecc 1:13:

Ecc 1:13 I applied my heart to inquiring and exploring by wisdom concerning all that is done under the heavens: it is an experience of evil Elohim has given to the sons of humanity to humble them by it. (CLV)

Nothing is so humiliating as coming to see our own hopeless weaknesses.

Yet even our rebellious, carnal minded old man, is “beautiful in his time”, because we know that without the “first… old man” there could never be a “last Adam… the new man”.

Ecc 3:11 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.

“He hath set the world [ Hebrew – olawm, Greek – aion] in their heart” is just another way of saying this:

1Co 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

Every life of mankind is its own olawm, or aion, its own “world”, and no one knows the world of another. So it is always best to avoid imputing motives and just let the fruit of the tree speak for itself. “So that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end” is true of our own ‘olawm’ or ‘aion’, much less that ‘olawm’ in the heart of others.

God, on the other hand, has the ‘olawm’ of every man “written in [ His] book, even the days ordained for [ us all] before there were any of them”.

Psa 139:16 Thine eyes did see mine unformed substance; And in thy book they were all written, Even the days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was none of them.

In our old man we speak lies and display our own shame, but in our new man we loathe who we were, and we repent with “Godly repentance, not to be repented of”.

2Co 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

Through it all we have been assured that all in Adam will, in His time, be saved from sin and death.

1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

So we know that God is using the “same event” to save all men:

Ecc 9:2 All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.

“As is the good so is the sinner” is true simply because no one is ‘good’ to begin with, and in the end all who were sinners, will become “the good” in Christ.

Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

But as we just quoted, this is the “beautiful” outcome of this “one event to the righteous and to the wicked”:

1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

While Solomon doesn’t seem to appreciate the beauty of what God is doing, his own words admit to that beauty, and the New Testament witnessed to the beauty and the “glory” of the plan of God, and to the fact “that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.”

Rom 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

Rom 11:34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?

Rom 11:35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?

Rom 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

Next week, if the Lord wills we will continue our study here in the third chapter of Ecclesiastes:

Ecc 3:12 I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.

Ecc 3:13 And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.

Ecc 3:14 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.

Ecc 3:15 That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.

Ecc 3:16 And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there.

Ecc 3:17 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.

Ecc 3:18 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.

Ecc 3:19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.

Ecc 3:20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.

Ecc 3:21 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?

Ecc 3:22 Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?

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