The Book of Ecclesiastes Bible Study Chapter 3 Part 1

We begin this week by looking at probably the most famous passage in Ecclesiastes: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. 

Note: A part of our next reading could be seen as controversial for some of you. Remember that it is your responsibility to search out the verses and interpretations that are presented to you in these studies. We are bound to disagree on some points and that is ok. Points of difference should cause us to grow, as they encourage us to search even deeper in the Word for truth. Some of the thoughts presented in this study might be new to you. We would be wise to carefully and prayerfully consider them. 

King Solomon is struggling to find satisfaction, or that which has eternal significance. In this chapter, he begins to reveal some very important principles for life amid the despair, discouragement and shouts of vanity.

 v1: Every purpose: More accurately translated ‘every desire’. We have a multiplicity of desires, feelings etc that we want to express or demonstrate. There is a fitting season/time to display all of these things that we have within us. G-d wants all people to experience this world. Why? The more we experience this world, the more we are going to be driven to the Kingdom. In this world, G-d has set up seasons for each person to have these expressive feelings, and times whereby we can release or demonstrate them. One of the things that we need to learn is discernment. We must understand the seasons that we’re living in, so that we can express the right desire and understand how to respond in a way that glorifies G-d. 

v2: Born…die: There is a season for being born (beginning) and a season for coming to an end. 

  • Pluck: Uprooting. 

v3: Kill: This isn’t the word for murder. It’s the word for bringing something to its end or to its conclusion. 

  • Heal: If someone has a disease we need to pray for discernment as to whether this is a season for healing or a season for death. Many believers will say that we should pray for healing, but we need to pray according to G-d’s will. It is tragic when someone is misled to believe that healing is coming (when it’s not) and so they fail to prepare for death. We live in a fallen world. There are different seasons in our lives.  Sometimes we’re in a season for healing, but sometimes it’s a season for death (This doesn’t only apply to our physical lives but can be applied to other aspects of our lives eg: businesses etc). 

v4 -v6: Weep…laugh etc: Two extremes. We need to ask G-d to help us to discern what season we are in, or what season someone else is in – so that we can provide G-dly counsel to them. 

v7: Keep silence: Can also be translated ‘to think’. There is a season for thinking, pondering something in our mind. 

  • Speak: Sometimes we need to think, but at other times we need to speak. Our challenge, our task, is to act in discernment. We need to know which season we are in so that we can respond in obedience to G-d’s will for that specific time. 

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