In the late 1950’s, Folk Legend, Pete Seeger released a song titled Turn, Turn, Turn, borrowing the words from Ecclesiastes 3. The song became an international hit in 1965 when it was adapted by the folk/rock group the Byrds. By December 1965, the song topped the charts of Billboard’s Top 100 songs. The vast majority of the people listening to and buying the record, had no idea that the lyrics came from scripture.
This morning, a passage from Proverbs 16, prompted me to turn in my Bible to the Book of Ecclesiastes and read once again the words of chapter three, words about seasons and times, fitting words for the season in we are presently living.
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.
Now, in my fifth decade of walking with Jesus, I find myself at peace with God and His Word, in ways that I have never known before. As a younger believer, I was often provoked by passages of scripture when I felt that they did not add up to my way of seeing things. But today, I have come to embrace such verses as, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
The verse that I mentioned earlier from Proverbs 16:4, says this, “The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.”
Once, when speaking of the sovereignty of God, R.C. Sproul said that if God has left one maverick molecule outside of His sovereignty, we can have no assurance that a single promise of God’s will ever come to be.
When I read such a passage as Proverbs 16:4, and try to reconcile it in my own mind, I know that I must return to Isaiah 55:8-9. I must also realize that God is sovereign one, who rules over the appointed times and seasons spoken of in Ecclesiastes 3.
Do I still have questions about God and scripture and His ways after walking with Him these past 49 years? Absolutely! What has changed though is the degree that I now trust Him and His Word. He has proven Himself so trustworthy during those years, that I don’t have to understand every jot and title of scriptures to trust that His Word is true and that He holds and controls all of the events of this world in His hands. In that, I find incredible rest and peace and the ability to rest in these words, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us” (Deuteronomy 29:29).