God’s Appointed Time
I’m a teen ager when I first heard the song in which the lyrics were taken from the Book of Ecclesiastes. I came to like the song that when I first had a Bible, I opened it immediately to the Book of Ecclesiastes. I was not a Christian then but reading this book convinced me that the Bible is the Word of God. The truth written by Solomon here by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit for me is so
awesome that after reading this chapter, I was motivated to read other books of the Bible. Here in this chapter we can see God’s sovereignty, His infinite knowledge and wisdom, His appointed time or
perfect timing, and His control in the events in our lives.
Illustration: Late to Choir Practice
Believers in Christ have God as a shield between them and the world’s threatening dangers. No harm can come to them unless the Lord permits it for their own good or the good of others. Many
Christians testify that they have been providentially protected in unusual ways.
Paul Tan, in his Encyclopaedia of 7700 Illustrations, says that on the evening of March 1, 1950, choir practice was scheduled in a local church in Beatrice, Nebraska. When the pastor and his wife and
daughter were ready to leave for the 7:30 meeting, they discovered that the little girl had soiled her dress and needed to be changed. So, they had to come late. A high school sophomore named
Ladona had trouble with her geometry problems and stayed to finish her work, even though she usually gets there early. Two sisters were delayed because their car wouldn’t start. Mrs. Schuster
normally arrived at 7:20, but that night her mother needed her, so she had to stop there first. One man took a nap and overslept. And so, one after another, the members were detained for various
reasons. At 7:25, due to leaking gas, the church blew up! When everyone arrived a short time later, they were amazed to see how their lives had been spared. The fact that all of them failed to come ontime—something that had never happened before—had to be more than coincidence. As far as they were concerned, the Lord had been their shield and protector. His timing is perfect.
Admittedly, this was an unusual occurrence. But it does comfort us to know that whatever happens, we are secure in the protective arms of God’s providence. -H.G.B.
I. Everything under heaven has an appointed time
A. To everything there is a season.
B. A time to every purpose under heaven
1. A time to be born, and a time to die
2. A time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted
3. A time to kill, and a time to heal
4. A time to break down, and a time to build up
5. A time to weep, and a time to laugh
6. A time to mourn, and a time to dance
7. A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones
8. A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing
9. A time to gain, and a time to lose
10. A time to keep, and a time to throw away
11. A time to tear, and a time to sew
12. A time to keep silence, and a time to speak
13. A time to love, and a time to hate
14. A time of war, and a time of peace
II. Biblical Principles
A. Everything that happens in our life is part of God’s plan.
B. God’s timing is always perfect.
C. It is the Lord who makes things happen, “Christ is in control”. He is in control through orderly laws and principles.
D. God loves us and He will provide, protect, lead, guide, and will always be graceful and merciful to us no matter what.
1. Birth and death are according to God’s plan. God’s perfect control is clearly seen here. (Gen 29:31-30:24 and 33:5; Josh 24:3; 1 Sam 1:9-20; Ps 113:9 and 127; Jer. 1:4-5; Luke 1:5-25; Gal 1:15). However, God has given man corporate responsibility to carry out capital punishment in case of murder (Gen. 9:6)
2. Planting and plucking may be seasonal but it’s the Lord who assigns the time and season. Man can plant and sow but it’s Christ who make the increase. (1 Cor.3:6-7)
3. Killing and healing. This probably refers, not to war (v. 8) or self-defence, but to the results of sickness and plague in the land (1 Sam. 2:6). God permits some to die while others are healed. This does not imply that we should refuse medical aid, for God can use both means and miracles to accomplish His purposes (Isa. 38).
4. Breaking down and building up means nothing we do is permanent. There will come a time that the Lord will destroy everything we have built. (2 Pet. 3:10). The accomplishment of God’s purposes includes man’s effort.
5. Since all people dies, there is a proper time for mourning, but then there’s an end of it (1 Thess. 4:13) then, there’s a time to dance and celebrate. Dancing here must not be confused to modern day dance.
6. People in the Near East openly show their affections, kissing and hugging when they meet and when they part. This may simply mean, “A time to say hello and a time to say good-bye.” This might also refer to the relationship of a husband and wife (Lev. 15:19-31; 1 Cor 7:5)
7. We are told there is a time to tear clothing which was part of the Jewish ritual of mourning but then there is a time to sew together that which was torn.
8. God’s plan includes times of happiness as well as sorrow so you must be aware that circumstances like these happens.
9. God’s plan includes profit and loss. Profit comes because of our dependence on God and our part in His plan.
10. There is a proper time to speak as a part of God’s plan (silence is golden) and a proper time for silence.
11. It is written here about a time to love and a time to hate. No problem about loving but are Christians allowed to hate? There are things that Christians ought to hate (2 Chron. 19:2; Ps 97:10; Prov. 6:16-19; Rev. 2:6,15)
12. And there are times for war and times for peace. Well, there will be wars and rumours of war until He returns.
Illustration: Brand Plucked out of the Fire
John Wesley’s father, Samuel, was a dedicated pastor, but there were those in his parish who did not like him. On February 9, 1709, a fire broke out in the rectory at Epworth, possibly set by one of
the rector’s enemies. Young John, not yet six years old, was stranded on an upper floor of the building. Two neighbours rescued the lad just seconds before the roof crashed in. One neighbour
stood on the other’s shoulders and pulled young John through the window. Samuel Wesley said, “Come, neighbours, let us kneel down. Let us give thanks to God. He has given me all my eight children. Let the house go. I am rich enough.” John Wesley often referred to himself as a “brand plucked out of the fire” (Zech. 3:2; Amos 4:11). In later years he often noted February 9 in his journal and gave thanks to God for His mercy. Samuel Wesley laboured for 40 years at Epworth and saw very little fruit; but consider what his family accomplished!
Wycliffe Handbook of Preaching and Preachers, W. Wiersbe, Moody Press, 1984, p. 251
III. We still have a Choice
A. The above examples do not remove man’s choice. We can throw or keep things according to our discretion, husband and wife can decide about sexual love, and many more as the Lord gives us opportunities to make wise use of what He has given us.
God has appointed time for everything and He is in control for everything and every aspect of our lives. It’s time for you to repent and receive Christ as your personal Saviour. Do it now before its too late.