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Ecclesiastes: Chapter 3

The opening words of this chapter were made famous when Pete Seeger used them to write the song “Turn, Turn, Turn” which became an international hit when it was recorded by the Byrds in 1965. What made that song so popular? Perhaps it was the recognition that these words convey a universal truth – that in life there is indeed a time for every action and every emotion.

This idea that there will be a time for everything is carried forward in the rest of the chapter. He compares the results of man’s toil (everything will fade away) to God’s works, which are beautiful (in their time) and will last forever. He sees that in our world there is wickedness where there should be judgment and justice. But also makes note that in time God will bring judgment, and justice will come to all.

The chapter closes with a potentially depressing comparison. He makes note that man and animals are the same – they both share the same breath and both will die and return to dust. He wonders whether their ultimate fate is the same. Without Jesus, our fate would be same. But because Jesus conquered death, we know we can look forward to a life with him far beyond this world.

Key Verse:
“There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens.” ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1

Questions to ponder:

  • When have you experienced this need to have seasons of emotions in your life? How do you move on from one to the next?
  • How does the concept of fate help you live your life?
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