Time to Change the Clocks
When we first moved to Indiana some thirty-four years ago, we delighted in the fact we never had to change the time on the clocks! Indiana (at least this part of it) never used “daylight savings time”, although that confused our parents in Ohio who seldom knew what time it was here; likewise, I got confused when preaching meetings in Illinois! That all changed when then-governor Daniels determined to put Indiana on “eastern daylight savings time” and since then, we’re all confused, especially when traveling out of state.
Christians should rejoice that God doesn’t deal with “our time.” Solomon stated, “He hath made every thing beautiful in his time” (Eccl. 3:11). Still, we often grow impatient with time, and just as frequently, we find it passing us faster than the weaver’s shuttle (cf. Job 7:6). Thus, the expression, “The more hurried I go, the behinder I get.”
Let me ask you to take the time just now and carefully read Ecclesiastes 3. Note through verse eight, each of these opposites has its time for existence. Each of us has experienced each item and its opposite, but never at the same time for they are opposites. In verses nine and ten, Solomon points us to the reality that nothing we do is forever in this time world: this is the providence of God, who has made all things beautiful in His time (vs. 11). God can change all His creation at His will, while man can but deal with the realities he has, making only temporary changes to an ever-changing world! (vs. 12)
Mankind should enjoy the good of all that he does, for it is God’s gift that we do so (vs. 12). But we must realize that whatever God does cannot be changed by man: God has done it that man should fear before Him (vs. 14; chapter 12:13). Therefore, what is has been, and what is to be has already been (vs. 15). God’s way is eternal!
As well, Solomon learned that wickedness exists in the very face of judgment and that iniquity exists where you find righteousness. (vs. 16) Do they unite in their deeds; that is, do judgment and wickedness, righteousness and iniquity join in their activity? No, these are opposites, but they are found within the same environments. Therefore, God will judge the righteous and the wicked: for again, there is a purpose for every work (vs. 17). Solomon thought surely God might make man see that they themselves are beasts (vs. 18) because what happens to the sons of men happens to beasts also (vs. 19): they both die (vs. 20)! Yet, the spirit of man goes upward (i.e., toward God for judgment) while the spirit of the beast goes downward to the earth (i.e., it has no judgment. – vs. 21).
Solomon, therefore, made this conclusion from his examination of time: “There is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his own works: for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?” (vs. 22) In other words, “Be content with such things as we have, for He (God) hath said, ‘I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.’” (Hebrews 13:5)
Time – the psalmist said it is limited for mankind (Psalm 90:10). My doctor Grandfather Davis would often tell the families of patients whose loved one was nearing their end, “There is only so much sand in the glass, and this is one glass you can’t turn over.” It truly doesn’t matter whether we’re on “fast time” or “slow,” there are still twenty-four hours in a day, seven days a week, and 365 days in most years – and even “leap year” will have the same amount of time each day – BUT ONLY IF THE LORD WILLS (James 4:14 – 17).
The key to using time wisely, dear reader! While we may talk about making time for this or that, the reality is that God controls time – and He has already appointed a time to end time (Acts 17:31) If we are not ready for that judgment day, we have no one to blame but ourselves! While we live, we have the opportunity to read, study, learn and obey God’s will for our souls – the obey the gospel of our salvation! To shun this obedience to this truth is to waste time in the most rebellious way possible! Sure, we’ll face the opposites of living (verses 1 – 8), and many of these we might face many times! But wouldn’t you rather face them WITH God than WITHOUT Him? (Phil. 4:13) Just how much of your time – your LIFE – is given to the honor, glory, and service of God?