Boletim dos Obreiros

Time

"He has made everything beautiful in its time."

(Ecc. 3:11a)

Another year comes to an end! The curtains open to the new year, offering us new perspectives to life! The calendar goes on, inexorably, marking the course of TIME. TIME is an important part of the existential reality of man. This order of ideas leads me to consider something about TIME.

I would initially stress three conceptual aspects about TIME:

  1. TIME is no more than the "sum of successive moments" which compose our own physical existence, that is, our human life.
  2. TIME represents a "precious value" which God graciously offers us, which is implacably "consumed" with perfect regularity, independently of our personal behaviour or our use of it.
  3. TIME is "irreversible". Each moment of which it is composed goes and does not return! Its recovery is humanly impossible!

This said, let us see what the Bible teaches:

1 - GOD AND TIME

  • God ordered time (Gen.1:1 to 2:3). There were years, days, day, night, evening and morning. We thus perceive a basic principle in the Creative action of God. "God is a God of order", therefore, as creatures of God, created in His image and likeness to realise His sovereign purpose, we are tied down to this principle.
  • God has made everything appropriate to its time (Ecc.3:11a). God's clock is inflexibly right. This is why Christ proclaimed, when dying on the cross for our sins, fulfilling the sublime divine project of Redemption: "It is finished!" (John 19:30), because it was completed in the time of God!
  • Because all that God does is at the right time. All God makes is "very good" (Gen.1:31), and "beautiful" (Ecc.3:11a).
  • There are "times" exclusive to God, over which we should not speculate (Acts 1:11).

2 - JESUS CHRIST AND TIME

  • The Lord Jesus had an exact notion of the "right time" in realising the Redemptive plan, tuning himself completely to the Sovereign Will of His FATHER - Matt.4:17; John 4:23; 5:25,28. See the expressions "the time is near" and "the hour comes".
  • The Lord did not "anticipate the right time" - John 7:6 (My time has not yet come).
  • The Lord did not "postpone the right time" – John 23:23; 13:1; 17:1; Matt.26:45 (the hour is come).

3 - THE CHRISTIAN AND TIME

  • There is a time for every purpose under heaven (Ecc.3:1b; Luke 24:19; Acts 1:4). We ought therefore to keep closely "tuned in" with the Will of God, to do only that which He wants us to do.
  • We are responsible for the "time" which the Lord concedes to us (John 4:35, 36) - See the expressions "Lift up your eyes and look" and "Already white for harvest." We shall have to give account to God of this valuable heritage which he has given us (Rom.14:12; Heb.4:13).
  • We must do things in "God's time" (John 9:4). See, as an illustration, the parables (Matt.22:4-5; 24:36-42). I stress the expression "while it is day, the night comes when nobody can work."
  • We must redeem the time (Eph.5:15-17). This text teaches us that this implies "prudence", "wisdom" and "understanding" the Will of God.
  • We must remember that it is always time to carry out the Will of God (1Peter 4:2).

In the NEW YEAR may we know how to discern well the Will of God, making the best of the TIME He concedes us, to do only that which He desires.