For everything there is an appointed time, even a time* (Or, “season; seasonable time.”) for every affair under the heavens: 2 a time for birth and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot what was planted; 3 a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to break down and a time to build; 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to wail and a time to skip about; 5 a time to throw stones away and a time to bring stones together; a time to embrace and a time to keep away from embracing; 6 a time to seek and a time to give up as lost; a time to keep and a time to throw away; 7 a time to rip apart and a time to sew together; a time to keep quiet and a time to speak; 8 a time to love and a time to hate; a time for war and a time for peace. 9 What advantage is there for the doer in what he is working hard at?
10 I have seen the occupation that God has given to the sons of mankind in which to be occupied. 11 Everything he has made pretty in its time. Even time indefinite he has put in their heart, that mankind * (Lit., “the earthling man.” Heb., ha·ʼa·dhamʹ.) may never find out the work that the [true] God has made from the start* to the finish. 12 I have come to know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good during one’s life; 13 and also that every man* (Or, “every earthling man.” Heb., kol-ha·ʼa·dhamʹ.) should eat and indeed drink and see good for all his hard work. It is the gift of God.
Creator & Choice(s)…
“Are We Predestined?” [excerpted: w 09 4/1; my neon green highlights]
Solomon was not saying that births and deaths are predestined. Rather, his point is that births and deaths, like many things in life, come in endless cycles. Certainly, life will have its ups and downs. “There is . . . a time to weep and a time to laugh,” says Solomon. Such repeated patterns and unforeseen calamities, Solomon shows, are common to life, to “every affair under the heavens.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8; 9:11, 12) His conclusion, therefore, is not to get so swept up in our daily affairs that we overlook our Creator.—Ecclesiastes 12:1, 13.
Though our Creator understands life and death completely, he does not force a destiny on us. The Bible teaches that God offers all of us the prospect of living forever. But God does not compel us to accept his offer. Instead, his Word says: “Let anyone that wishes take life’s water free.”—Revelation 22:17.
Yes, we must want to “take life’s water.” Thus, our future is not determined by fate. Our own decisions, attitudes, and actions have a real impact on our future.
1/25/19 @ 9:15 a.m.