God has given humankind an ability and gift of seeing the possibilities that life might offer, as well as a sight for life beyond, yet He has not revealed all of his mysteries to us. Solomon talks here in v.1 about how God has a plan and purpose for all events of life, whether we are able to discern what it is or not. This makes me think of the TobyMac song “backseat driver” All things are done in His time to His purpose, not to mine. I need to sit back and let the Lord take the wheel, and stop trying to control the uncontrollable, simply trusting in Him.
God’s plan is eternal, it has existed forever, and will always be. Nothing we do can take away or add to His plan, all we can do is to give all glory to God and put him as Lord over our lives while living the life He has given us to the fullest in His name. In my life I struggle to give up control, and though I want to give it all to the Lord, the how of it is a lot more difficult most days, I can want this, while all of my actions fight against it despite my will. This is why it is only my desire for the Lord’s will in my life that can matter. I can try as hard as I am able to try and turn events the way I desire, but without God’s hand in it I have no ability to actually do anything. Only He is able.
Solomon witnesses that in the world, even places that should be just and righteous, like the law and courts (place of judgement), are imperfect and house corruption. He has faith to believe that despite our flawed world, God is a righteous judge, and has an ultimate purpose and plan for all. Despite all evidence and experience of the unrighteousness and corruption that taints even the most righteous of human creation, Solomon decided to believe in the existence of a totally righteous and just God (who has put all these events in motion). That is true faith! It can be so hard to accept that God can both be truly good, yet allow so many bad things to happen.
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, 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.
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. 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. 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. 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. 20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. 21 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth? 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?