Talks for Growing Christians
An Appropriate Time for Everything
Lesson Number 3
- There is an appropriate time for everything.
- Is the main idea of these very familiar verses (1-8), that there is a predetermined time for all events or is the main idea that there is an appropriate time for all the events of life?
- Do you find a time for any action or event in verses 1-8 that is inappropriate?
- Solomon’s teaching in verse 2a indicates that _______ is the one who appoints the birth day and the death day of every person. What impact does this have regarding the life of the unborn and the lives of the terminally ill, injured or elderly?
- According to verse 3a, there is a time to kill. What would be an appropriate time to take life?
- What would be an appropriate time to love? What would be an appropriate time to hate?
- What does the phrase in verse 11 “. . . He has put eternity in their hearts . . .” mean?
- Both ideas are true. God is completely sovereign and is in control of everything, so there is a predetermined time for all events. Also, the Bible teaches that there is an appointed time for everything. See Ephesians 1:11 in this connection. However, the fact that God is sovereign and the truth that there is an appointed time for everything does not contradict or deny human freedom and the responsibility to take appropriate actions at appropriate times.
- It should be noticed that there is not a time given in these verses for anything inappropriate, such as a time to lie or a time to steal. However, God is sovereign over these kinds of events as well as actions that He does not condone.
- Solomon’s teaching in verse 2a indicates that God is the one who appoints the time of birth and the time of death for every person. Man does not have the authority to take the life of the unborn or to precipitate the death of the terminally ill, the severely injured or the elderly. Preserve and prevent death, yes. Precipitate death, no.
- According to verse 3a, there is a time to kill or take life. Taking life through capital punishment in a proper system of justice or in the time of a just war would be right and appropriate.
- Certainly love between husband and wife in marriage would be one of many appropriate times to love. It is an appropriate time to hate when it is directed against obvious sin and evil.
- The phrase “. . . He has put eternity in their hearts . . .” in verse 11 means that God has given us a desire to know the meaning of life, what is beyond the grave and how it all fits in with His eternal plans.
- Discuss those times and events in your life that are now clear examples of God’s perfect timing. Consider especially those times and events when you had seriously doubted God’s timing, or even accused Him of poor timing, only to see in retrospect His sovereign and perfect “schedule.” Discuss your spiritual growth in this area of trusting God’s timing in both the “big” and the “small” events in your life.
- Are you living a joyful life? If not, what is keeping you from the joy that God intends for you? Is it anxiety, worry, fear or doubt? Pray that God will give you the faith that causes fear, anxiety and doubt to disappear and the faith that grows in hope, certainty, trust and joy.
- “I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:10-11