You are probably familiar with Pete Seeger’s Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season). Written in the late 50s, it was commercially via The Byrds in 1965. It takes Ecclesiastes verses 3:1–8 and puts them to music.
Pete Seeger’s intent behind the song was to promote world peace. That’s a very laudable goal. The irony of that goal is that the lyrics are almost a fatalistic response to the fallen and unpeaceful ways of the world.
There are a lot of things not specifically mentioned as having time for. Certainly, singing and learning were part of life at that point, but they aren’t specifically mentioned (though singing could be inferred with dancing). The internet and driving weren’t mentioned specifically (of course) but would be covered under “everything”.
The “everything” is a pretty big catch-all. Does that mean, then, that there is a time to sin?
That might seem to be a stupid question, yet, depending on one’s view of God, it isn’t stupid at all. The answer to that question may very well display what you think about God in several significant ways (though we won’t get them all).
When you read the story of Job (whether allegorical or true) how do you “read” the conversation between Satan and God? Is God allowing or directing?
Based on the end of this section of verses, Job did not assign wrongdoing to God (blame), and as such, did not sin. Then should we conclude that God allowed this to happen?
For many, leaving it as “a mystery” is fine, except for the problem of blame. If God wills/desires it, and if God is omnipotent, then how can God be loving and full of grace and mercy. The rejoinder often is, we can’t know the mind of God. This is true, in so far as finite creatures (us) trying to fully understand the infinite (God).
Yet, the Scriptures (given by God) also provide us insights into who God is, so the conclusions we draw from the Scriptures also deeply affect how we view and relate to God.
Is this that important? Yes. When you sin, is it you sinning by your will, or is God willing you to do something then assigning the sin to you? That is the choice laid before us.
Ezekiel’s words reinforce one answer. Your sin is a result of your will (or weakness in the face of temptation).
What is also part of this is that your sin cannot be laid at another’s feet (God’s or human’s). It is yours. Own it. Yes, own your sin.
This is not go and sin again. It is own your sin so as to repent and restore right relationship with God.
“‘…For I take no pleasure in anyone’s death.’ This is the declaration of the Lord GOD. ‘So repent and live!’” (Ezekiel 18:32)
1) Repent is based on the root of “turn from” or “turn around”. What do you need to repent from? If you cannot think of a “sin” (or even if you can), what is something else that you might need to turn from to improve or deepen your relationship with God?
2) How do you define sin? How do you know/learn if something new (such as a behavior) is a sin, or not?
3) What your current or past Job moments? How do/did they affect your relationship with God?
Heavenly Father, as we read your word, we learn about you. Help us to be stirred to read your word that we continue to grow in our knowledge of and relationship with you. Amen.