Faithlife Sermons

"The Mystery of Time and Providence" (Ecclesiastes 3:1-15)

Ecclesiastes  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  35:10
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A Bible Study of Ecclesiastes 3:1-15


Seeing the Bigger Picture

Life in this world (“under the sun”) may be characterized as “Hebel” – mysterious, enigmatic, frustrating, and at times elusive. (1:2)
Where (or how) can we find ultimate “gain” or “significance” in this world? (1:3)
Opening Poem: Life is enigmatic and frustrating (1:4–11).
“Gain” cannot ultimately be found in the pursuit of wisdom (1:12–18).
“Gain” cannot ultimately be found in the pursuit of pleasure or projects (2:1–12).
Wisdom is so much better than foolishness, but again, pursuing wisdom for its own sake will not bring “gain” (2:12–23).
Preliminary Advice: Enjoy God’s good gifts in this world but realize that if they are pursued as “gain” they will disappoint (2:24–26).

Ecclesiastes 3:1-15

An obstacle to the pursuit of “gain” in this world:
We are bound by the limits of time.
Many events in this world are outside of our control and are ultimately under God’s providence.
Ecclesiastes 3:1–15 NIV
1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: 2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, 6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 7 a time to tear and a time to mend, 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 do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him. 15 Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account.
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