The Vanity of Time
Topic: The Meaning of Life Passage: Ecclesiastes 3:1–15
Our passage today begins with a poem. You might recognize it. In 1959 Pete Seeger wrote a song verbatim from Ecclesiastes 2 called: “Turn. Turn. Turn.” It was performed by the Birds in 1965. Pete Seeger saw the poem as a call for world peace.
But, is this passage really a call for world peace?
Ironically, the poem is about what we can’t do and what we can’t control.
This passage talks about a war in a way. The war is the war of control vs. surrender,
We look at the reality of time and how time contributes to our understanding of life in the world. What we’ll find today is that time and chance are brute uncontrollable realities that only add to the vanity of our earthly lives.
The Preacher (the writer of Ecclesiasties) is very explicit in our passage today, more than he has been so far in putting this empty striving, this vanity at the feet of God and God’s sovereignty. He’s not really happy about this.
In this we’ll be forced to face the reality of our own inability to control or to even understand the ways of God in the world and the way the world works.
Our question will be, do you seek the satisfaction of control or the joy of surrender?