The Way of the World

In Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, Solomon gives us the big picture on the way of the world and how it works using contrast pairings.  The writing is a completeness in Hebrew poetry.

  • Ecc 3:1  Times of Universal Truth:  There is an appointed time for everything in heaven and on earth.  This speaks to God’s sovereignty.
  • Ecc 3:2  Times of Life and Death:  A time to be born, to die, to plant and uproot.  There is a lifecycle for everything which God controls.
  • Ecc 3:3  Times of Justice: A time to kill and heal, to tear down or build.  Once justice is satisfied, there is mercy and healing.
  • Ecc 3:4  Times of Emotion:  A time to weep and laugh (more intimate), mourn and dance (more public).  God is in control of our emotions.
  • Ecc 3:5  Times of Interaction with Others:  There is a time to throw stones and gather stones.  Get rid of things hindering your life so you can truly live as God would have you live.  There is a time to embrace and a time for refraining to embrace.  Do not associate with people who are not good for you.  As Ronald Reagan said, “Trust, but verify.”
  • Ecc 3:6  Times of Possessing:  There is a time to search, give up, keep and throw away.  We all have “stuff.”  Do you possess your possessions or do your possessions possess you?
  • Ecc 3:7  Times of Mourning:  A time to tear down, mend, be silent, speak.  Proverbs 15:23 says “How delightful is a timely word.”  It takes wisdom and discernment to know the right timing.  “Silence itself is eloquent sympathy” (Os Guinness).
  • Ecc 3:8  Times of War and Peace:  A time to love, to hate… a time for war and peace.  “I have decided to stick with love… hate is too great a burden to bear” (MLK).

Applications For Living


  1. A Universal Principle:  God is the Watchmaker and the Timekeeper of life.  God is sovereign, He is in control.  Whether there is life or death, enemies who put stones in our path, love or hate… God is in control.  He is the timekeeper.  When he wants you, He’ll get you.
  2. A General Application:  Synchronize your live to the Rhythm of God’s Wisdom.  Think above the sun with an eternal perspective rather than just living below the sun.  Think biblically (with a theological perspective):  It gives you hope (2 Corinthians 5:1-5).  It gives you courage to go on (2 Corinthians 5:6-10).
  3. Humility.  If you want to synchronize your life with God, live with His wisdom, justice, kindness and humility.  Show mercy, be kind to people (Micah 6:8).  Pride is one of the greatest sins of the Christian — walk humbly.

Remember, God sees and knows all.  God appoints everything on earth and in Heaven.  Live simply, live gratefully, live faithfully.  The wisdom, knowledge and joy is yours if you truly live allowing the One above the sun to reign in your life.  Synchronize your life to the rhythm of God.