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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Saturday Sermonette--To Everything a Season, Part 7

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
.... A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones. (Ecclesiastes 3:1,5a NKJV)

Wow--what do we make of this passage? I'm thinking--in the time of Solomon, why would you cast away stones?

One purpose could be to clear a field for planting. It's really difficult to plow a field full of rocks, even worse to swing a sickle for harvesting with those rocks.

Farmers might also have cast away any stones gathered for defense, if the danger no longer existed. Or if the stones were forming a fence, and the farmer wanted to create a gate.

A time to gather stones--again, it could be referring to building. Judeans often used stones to build enclosures, from houses down to fences.

It could also refer to gathering weapons--slings could be pretty effective weapons, as David demonstrated against Goliath.

Why did Solomon (who is credited with writing this passage) feel it was important enough to mention gathering and throwing away rocks?

Perhaps he realized times of war or needing defence from predators were inevitable, they would again happen, and this was his way to telling folks to be ready when necessary. Gathering stones for building is would have been continual.

He would also have known there would be times of peace when disarmament would be okay.

A time to disarm, and a time to make ready. It makes sense. Lord, please grant us the wisdom to know the time for each. Amen.
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