by Seattle ALC
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:”- Ecclesiastes 3:1
To us that live in a world of constant change, this portion of Scripture is comforting, or it should be! Changes does not mean the lack of stability in God’s terms, as expressed in His Word. We seem to have a need to trust in things that appear stable and constant. Change can often make us feel at loose ends, give us a feeling of uneasiness. Even though we can’t control future events, we like to have a sense about the future, we need to have hope about it.
The writer of Ecclesiastes wrote in the 1st chapter, “I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven:”. He looked at the past, present, and future, and he found that there wasn’t anything new under the sun. Yet he doesn’t despair, but points to the one thing that is a true constant, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The God that sent His Word, that became flesh and dwelt among us, His Son Jesus Christ.
Note that he wrote that there is “a time to every purpose under heaven”. Even though he saw “vanity and vexation of spirit” all around him, he still had hope. He was able to see a greater purpose to life than just what he had received in his present life circumstances, which wasn’t all bad as he wrote later in this book. He had a hope for the future that gave his life meaning. It came from God. The Apostle Paul expressed it so well centuries later: ” Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”- Romans 15:13
May the ” God of hope” keep our hearts in the knowledge of His purpose in Christ for us. The Gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ for us. He has our best interest in these seasons of change. In Christ we can find all thing pertaining to this life and the one that is to come.
The apostle Paul made an observation, not unlike the one made by the writer of Ecclesiastes. He surveyed the many gods being worshiped in Athens on Mars’ hill this was his conclusion:
“Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; “- Acts 17: 22b-28
May your hope be in the one that “we live, and move, and have our being”. God sent His Son, and has left His Holy Ghost to bring to this world the gift of salvation, and joy and peace for time and eternity!