Friday, August 18, 2023

Wheels in Motion (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)

"A time for every purpose under heaven..." (Eccl. 3:1).

In chapter 3 we find the Preacher still pursuing his argument that everything is in perpetual change. It is vain, therefore, to seek solid happiness in so shifting a scene. We might as well try to find peace on the tossing waves, where there is no fixed island upon which we can rest from the continual toss and turns of life. “It is the ‘wheel of nature’ (James 3:6),” Bridges wrote. “Sometimes one spoke is uppermost—sometimes the opposite. But all is in constant motion.

“And yet all these fluctuations are under absolute control. It is not a world of chance or of fate. All events—even the most apparently casual—all those voluntary actions, that seem to be in our own power, with all their remotest contingencies—are overruled. To everything there is a season—a fixed time—a predetermined purpose, on which—and not on man’s care, thought, or effort—everything depends. Of this purpose we know nothing. But ‘known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.’ (Acts 15:18). His eye has been upon everything, great and small, from eternity. All is His unchangeable will.”

Despite sin’s disruption of nature—we die, we mourn, we kill, we are scattered, we hate, we waste time—the purpose of God continues to progress. “The wheel in the middle of the wheel” (Ezek. 1:15–21) moves forward and performs the appointed work. God sees everything from beginning to end. He has charted the seasons, and we cannot thwart His purposes. “There was a season for Israel’s deliverance from Egypt, and for the return from Babylon. Nothing could either force on, or keep back the time.… To have looked for it at any other time—whether sooner or later—would only have brought disappointment. There was ‘the fullness of time,’ the appointed season—the fittest time—for the Savior’s advent (Gal. 4:4). An earlier period would have hindered many important purposes, or at least clouded their full development.”

God has set the wheels of time in motion. Everything that happens to us is known by Him. Under the canopy of His sovereignty, we find comfort and assurance that all things are working out for the ultimate good. Let us then embrace the seasons of life with Christian patience and diligence, that we might bring glory to God at all times.

Read Ecclesiastes 3:1–8. What season are you going through? What do you think God is teaching you at this time? Think back to other seasons of your life. What lessons did you learn through each one? Are you anxious to put this season behind you as well? If so, ask God for patience and faith in His purposes and His wisdom.