There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build…
Possibly Solomon was comparing his work as king with the work of his father David. David was a man of war who united Israel and gained security for the nation, but he was forbidden from building the temple. His was a time of war, of tearing down, of uprooting, in order to plant, heal, and build. Solomon was the man to build, unassociated with the bloody wars David fought.
Sometimes I hear someone bemoan that they were born at the wrong time, that their gifts or preferences were outside of what was necessary or expedient in their own day. I can understand this feeling – we all probably feel that way at one time or another – but I disagree with the thought because it rejects the sovereignty of God in our birth. He chose when we would be born. But it also suggests that only the popular ideas of the day are the good ideas. In every age we need a different perspective because times are always changing, and the one who seems contrary to the spirit of the age can merely be God’s instrument to prepare future generations for the coming change.
But the heart devoted to God and His work is a heart for all generations. Thomas a’ Kempis penned this profound prayer to the Father.Grant me, O Lord, to know what I ought to know, To love what I ought to love, To praise what delights Thee most, To value what is precious in Thy sight, To hate what is offensive to Thee, Do not suffer me to judge according to the sight of my eyes, Nor to pass sentence according to the hearing of the ears of ignorant men; But to discern with a true judgment between things visible and spiritual, And above all, always to inquire what is the good pleasure of Thy will, Amen.
Here is the heart of devotion that weathers every age. The times in which we live will color our understanding and our application of God’s truth, but it will not change in one iota the true heart of God. He is ever the same. As our hearts search His heart and long to know Him, “to love what I ought to love,” He will open our minds to understand, our hearts to believe, and strengthen our steps as we follow Him.