This chapter’s going to be great! I really do enjoy the Bible and learning so much about everything, so it’s a great experience, like reading a fantastic book.
There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven — a time to give birth and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill and a time to heal; a time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance. A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace and a time to shun embracing. A time to search and a time to give up as lost; a time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; a time to be silent and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate; a time for war and a time for peace. I’m guessing that here, the writer had a lot on his mind about time, and the human experience. This part is about how there is a time for everything, and that it is best for one to experience what they can in life. I’ve heard it said that ignorance is bliss, but honestly, I’d rather have wisdom than bliss, wouldn’t you? Note the second-to-last sentence, which is about love and hate. When you read that, you might be wondering, “But isn’t hate a sin?” Hate is a very strong feeling; it’s super energy-consuming. But the sin is in the malicious intentions that hate brings about. Sin is by thought, word, and deed, not by feeling.
What profit is there to the worker from that in which he toils? I have seen the task which God has given the sons of men with which to occupy themselves. He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime; moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor—it is the gift of God. The writer saw what work God is having us do on earth: as it is our earth, yet a temporary home, one could easily see that it is mostly busy work. I’m not that the world isn’t beautiful, of course. But we are on earth for a short amount of time, and God has taken on all of the behind-the-scenes work. We don’t really see an obvious form of Him too often. But what we are given is from Him. Do not be afraid to enjoy life as it comes, for you are fortunate for the good in your life that you have.
I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him. That which is has been already and that which will be has already been, for God seeks what has passed by. This is God. He was. He is. He is to come. God is beyond what we can fathom, but He is universal and constant. He’s all about reality. Forget about what should, what was, what would, what must: think about what is! How can one expect a reality in him if one dwells everywhere but the present? Look closely now – it may be the only glimpse you get.
Furthermore, I have seen under the sun that in the place of justice there is wickedness and in the place of righteousness there is wickedness. I said to myself, “ God will judge both the righteous man and the wicked man,” for a time for every matter and for every deed is there. I said to myself concerning the sons of men, “God has surely tested them in order for them to see that they are but beasts.” People think they’re wise, or smart, or have the answers. Well, them something comes along to make them realize they’re not and they don’t. Every human system is corrupt and will fall eventually. Nowhere on earth is there pure good or pure evil. The world is purely impure.
For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same. As one dies so dies the other; indeed, they all have the same breath and there is no advantage for man over beast, for all is vanity. All go to the same place. All came from the dust and all return to the dust. Who knows that the breath of man ascends upward and the breath of the beast descends downward to the earth? I have seen that nothing is better than that man should be happy in his activities, for that is his lot. For who will bring him to see what will occur after him? We see here that there’s no advantage to being human. Humans die. Animals die. We are all going to end up as dust. Who knows what more there is to life than living with the things which God has blessed us? We are all just souls in bodies. Don’t act superior to everyone else. So you have money – are you able to buy yourself time on earth or joy? So you have good looks – what use is good looks when you’re not going to look like that in thirty years? Oh, you say that you are smart – news flash, intelligence is not an indicator of God living in you! Enjoy what you have, however, while you have it, because it is given to you in His grace.