Embracing the Seasons
Introduction: From your perspective what season is it right now? Deer Season/ Gun Season/Fall/ Almost holiday season/ Football/ Hockey/ BCS. Our perception and perspectives are varied.
In our text, Eccl. Chapter 3, the preacher talks about the changing seasons of life. Chang is inevitable. We may resist it but we will never stop it! Tonight I want us to see what the Bible says about the seasons of life and what our response should be to them.
1. What is the first thing that you notice from verse one about these seasons of life? (it has been appointed).
2. How does that make you feel? Does it give you a sense of confidence or contempt?
3. As you look down through the list, how many of the seasons have you experienced so far? Most likely the older you are the more you have gone through. It is also likely that your experience has been both similar and at the same time quite different then those around you.
4. Notice on this list of opposites that there are seasons that are very desirable and ones that we want nothing to do with.
5. What is the purpose for us to have to experience the “winters”. Wouldn’t it be better for us in the long run if we just had “summer” all the time?
6. What things should we remember regardless of what season we are in right now?
7. Look at verse 11. It tells us three important things about the way that God operates.
a. He has made everything appropriate in its time. How can that be?
b. He has set eternity in man’s heart. What does that mean?
c. He keeps the seasons of a man’s life a mystery from the beginning to the end. Why?
8. What other observations does the preacher make about God and man in verses 12-22?
a. Rejoice and do good!
b. God’s gift to man is that he gains satisfaction from the work that he does and enjoys life.
c. That the things God does will last forever just as He wants it.
d. Man should reverence God
e. God will repetitively bring the seasons into our lives until we learn what He desires.
f. Even though true justice will not take place in this world, it will take place in the future.
g. Although biologically man and animals appear to have the same fate, animals go to the grave and men will go to stand before God for judgement!
h. Be content and happy with the seasons that come and go in our lives. Remember that enjoyment comes from God.
i. Only God knows what the next season will bring!
God is sovereign and has designed our seasons in life for our own good and for His glory. Remember that when it is “winter” again!
Ecclesiastes 3 (NASB95)
1 There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—
2 A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear 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 throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
6 A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak.
8 A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace.
9 What profit is there to the worker from that in which he toils?
10 I have seen the task which God has given the sons of men with which to occupy themselves.
11 He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.
12 I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime;
13 moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor—it is the gift of God.
14 I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him.
15 That which is has been already and that which will be has already been, for God seeks what has passed by.
16 Furthermore, I have seen under the sun that in the place of justice there is wickedness and in the place of righteousness there is wickedness.
17 I said to myself, “God will judge both the righteous man and the wicked man,” for a time for every matter and for every deed is there.
18 I said to myself concerning the sons of men, “God has surely tested them in order for them to see that they are but beasts.”
19 For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same. As one dies so dies the other; indeed, they all have the same breath and there is no advantage for man over beast, for all is vanity.
20 All go to the same place. All came from the dust and all return to the dust.
21 Who knows that the breath of man ascends upward and the breath of the beast descends downward to the earth?
22 I have seen that nothing is better than that man should be happy in his activities, for that is his lot. For who will bring him to see what will occur after him?
 New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.