Cutting Room: Ecclesiastes 3

Cutting Room is everything that we researched that didn’t make it into the Sunday sermon. As always, a special thank you to Ryan Tanski for his contribution in research assistance.
— Pastor Pilgrim

 

Cross Reference Scriptures

Ephesians 5:15-16 (NASB)—Therefore be careful, how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil.

Romans 8:28 (NIV)—And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 

Psalms 139:13-16 (NIV)--For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

2 Timothy 1:8-12 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, 10 but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 12 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.


 

God's Work

God's Sovereignty

God's Justice

God's Goodness

God's Immutability

God's Eternality

God's Creativity


 

"Eternity in their hearts"

God has “set eternity in the human heart.” In every human soul is a God-given awareness that there is “something more” than this transient world. And with that awareness of eternity comes a hope that we can one day find a fulfillment not afforded by the “vanity” in this world. Here is a closer look at the verse:

“In the human heart” is an expression representing the mind, soul, or spirit of each person. God places eternity (Hebrew olam) into our heart and soul.

The word translated “eternity” is much debated regarding its translation in this passage. The word olam can be translated as “darkness,” “eternity,” or “the future.” The use of this word could indicate darkness (in the sense of ignorance), contrasting this concept with what follows in verse 11: “Yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” It could be that Solomon is contrasting human ignorance with God’s perfect wisdom.

A better possibility, and the one that is the typical interpretation, is that olam refers to God’s placing an eternal longing or sense of eternity in the human heart. Taking this understanding to be the correct one, Ecclesiastes 3:11 affirms the idea that humans operate in a different way than other forms of life. We have a sense of eternity in our lives; we possess an innate knowledge that there is something more to life than what we can see and experience in the here and now.

 


 

What are the differences between the animal kingdom and humans?

    • The imago dei. Genesis 1. We have souls, they do not.
    • We have rational minds, whereas animals do not, and thus solely operate off instinct.
    • We have morality, given to us by God.
    • We have intellect paired with intellegence
    • We have purpose

 


Injustice

What are some injustices that have happened in the last 20 years geopolitically? Socially? Etc.

Older examples:

  • The Cambodian Genocide
    • A direct result of weak and indecisive US military action, followed with a stark withdrawal from the area. 1.5-3m people were decimated. 
  • Korean Airlines Flight 007
    • Shot down for political gain by Russian operative and then lied about in hearings the followed. 246 passengers perished. 

Quotes

Charles Spurgeon: Do not believe that you re standing still; you are not. Your pulses each moment beat the funeral marches to the tomb. You are chained to the chariot of rolling time. There is no bridling the steeds or leaping from the chariot.

Ben Franklin: Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for it is the stuff life is made of. 

Henry David Thoreau: As if you could kill time without injuring eternity. 

Unknown: When as a child I laughed and wept, time crept. When as a youth I dreamed and talked, time walked.When I became a full grown man, time ran. And later as I older grew, time flew. Soon I shall find while traveling on, time gone.

Susan Ertz: Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon. 

“God made man in his own image; and nothing more surely attests to the greatness of our origin that those faculties of the soul which are capable of yearning for, conceiving, and enjoying the Infinite, the Immortal, and the Divine. . . . Every appetite in nature and grace has its appropriate satisfaction.” (Meyer)

Jim Carrey: I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.


THE POEM THAT WILL MAKE YOU CRY

No Time to Play (Dianna Neal)

My precious boy with the golden hair
Came up one day beside my chair
And fell upon his bended knee
And said, “Oh, Mommy, please play with me!”

I said, “Not now, go on and play;
I’ve got so much to do today.”
He smiled through tears in eyes so blue
When I said, “We’ll play when I get through.”

But the chores lasted all through the day
And I never did find time to play.
When supper was over and dishes done,
I was much too tired for my little son.

I tucked him in and kissed his cheek
And watched my angel fall asleep.
As I tossed and turned upon my bed,
Those words kept ringing in my head,

“Not now, son, go on and play,
I’ve got so much to do today.”
I fell asleep and in a minute’s span,
My little boy is a full-grown man.

No toys are there to clutter the floor;
No dirty fingerprints on the door;
No snacks to fix; no tears to dry;
The rooms just echo my lonely sigh.

And now I’ve got the time to play;
But my precious boy is gone away.
I awoke myself with a pitiful scream
And realized it was just a dream

For across the room in his little bed,
Lay my curly-haired boy, the sleepy-head.
My work will wait ‘til another day
For now I must find some time to play.