KEY VERSE: He sets the time for birth and the time for death, the time for planting and the time for pulling up. Ecclesiastes 3:2(GNT)
The preacher states several activities that occur at set times, most of which are out of our control. The first is the time for birth and the time of death. Innovations in science and medicine have made it possible to choose children’s birth dates, and even terminally ill people can pick their date for physician-assisted suicide. Nevertheless, it is God who knows when these can occur.
The ability to give birth is one of the manifestations of God’s blessings. Fruitfulness is part of the mandate given to humanity after the creation to reproduce their kind and fill the earth with people. God gave this charge to man within the context of marriage, and anytime the process was flawed, it was a sin.
Then God said, “And now we will make human beings; they will be like us and resemble us. They will have power over the fish, the birds, and all animals, domestic and wild, large and small.” So God created human beings, making them to be like himself. He created them male and female, blessed them, and said, “Have many children so that your descendants will live all over the earth and bring it under their control. I am putting you in charge of the fish, the birds, and all the wild animals. Genesis 1: 26-28(GNT)
The Lord will give you many children, many cattle, and abundant crops in the land that he promised your ancestors to give you. Deuteronomy 28:11(GNT)
But because you have shown such contempt for the Lord in doing this, your child will die.” 2 Samuel 12:14(GNT)
The time to give birth is not for children until they attain maturity; God determines this maturity. As there is a natural process of physical delivery, there is also a process for spiritual birth. The time of birth releases us into a family, just as the New birth gives us access to the family of God. If any man fails to be born into God’s family before their death date, they will lose access to God’s kingdom.
He came to his own country, but his own people did not receive him. Some, however, did receive him and believed in him, so he gave them the right to become God’s children. They did not become God’s children by natural means, that is, by being born as the children of a human father; God himself was their Father. John 1:11-13(GNT)
“I am telling you the truth,” replied Jesus, “that no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. A person is born physically of human parents but is born spiritually of the Spirit. Do not be surprised because I tell you that you must all be born again. John 3:5-7(GNT)
Sometimes, the time to bear is delayed due to natural and unnatural means, as in the case of Hannah and Elizabeth, but it is within the power of God to break every delay in answer to prayer. When we have done what God expects us to do within the time to bear, we stand on the faithfulness of his character and promises.
You will be blessed beyond all the people. There will not be an infertile male or infertile female among you or among your livestock. Deuteronomy 7:14(EHV)
Would I bring a baby to the point of birth and not let it be born? says the Lord. Or would I let a baby be conceived but shut the womb to prevent its birth? says your God. Isaiah 66:9(EHV)
Even though no man desires to have a death date, it is the means of ending our physical life to enter an endless eternity with God. Satan tries to interfere with this date through the activities of stealing, killing, and destroying using human agents and demons. But we rest in the knowledge that God has the power to deliver us from all evil in answer to prayers and according to his covenant promises. Man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
“a time to plant and a time to uproot” Ecclesiastes 3:2b(CJB)
There is a right time to plant crops to guarantee the maximum yield, and the nature of the crop determines every harvest time. Some harvests come in months while others after many years; the promise of God to Noah still stands that as long as the earth remains, seasons will come, and harvests will not fail. (Genesis 8:22)
We cannot expect a harvest time if we have not been part of a planting season. There are different kinds of seeds to sow; God is the source of seeds. (2 Corinthians 9:10)
Sometimes, the enemy plants the wrong kinds of seeds in our bodies, lives, and ministries, and as soon as we identify them is the right time to pluck them out. But, we must take care to avoid uprooting the good seeds too.
“Every plant which my Father in heaven did not plant will be pulled up,” answered Jesus. Matthew 15:13(GNT)
Sometimes people are planted in our families and organizations who specialize in bearing destructive fruits of malice, strife, jealousy, immorality, and violence. We need the wisdom of God to root them out skillfully.
But if any of you lack wisdom, you should pray to God, who will give it to you; because God gives generously and graciously to all. James 1:5(GNT)
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. James 3:17(ESV)
Father, thank you for your faithfulness to your word; we look to you for power to bring forth all that you have ordained for our lives at the appointed time. We trust you to keep our lives from untimely deaths and receive wisdom to know when and what to plant and how to uproot the evil people and things in our lives in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Photo by Christian Bowen on Unsplash