A Wrong Time for Everything

There’s a right time for everything under the sun (Ecc. 3:1–8). That means, apart from God, we creatures find a wrong time for everything under the sun, too.

Writes Karl Barth (CD IV.2, §65, 413–14):

The stupidity of man consists and expresses itself in the fact that when he is of the opinion that he achieves his true nature and essence apart from the knowledge of God, without hearing and obeying His Word, in this independence and autonomy, he always misses his true nature and essence.

He is always either too soon or too late.

He is asleep when he should be awake, and awake when he should be asleep.

He is silent when he should speak, and he speaks when it is better to be silent.

He laughs when he should weep, and he weeps when he should be comforted and laugh.

He always makes an exception where the rule should be kept, and subjects himself to a law when he should choose in freedom.

He always toils when he should pray, and prays when only work is of any avail.

He always devotes himself to historical and psychological investigation when decisions are demanded, and rushes into decision when historical and psychological investigation is really required.

He is always contentious where it is unnecessary and harmful, and he speaks of peace where he may confidently attack. …

In Eccl. 3 we are given a list of different things for which there is a proper time — in accordance with the fact that God Himself does everything in its own time.

The genius of stupidity is to think everything at the wrong time, to say everything to the wrong people, to do everything in the wrong direction, to lose no opportunity of misunderstanding and being misunderstood, always to omit the one simple and necessary thing which is demanded, and to have a sure instinct for choosing and willing and doing the complicated and superfluous thing which can only disrupt and obstruct.

The Hell of Sin In the Awakened Conscience

Charles Spurgeon, sermon 1068:

Only let a man once feel sin for half-an-hour, really feel its tortures, and I warrant you he could prefer to dwell in a pit of snakes than to live with his sins. Remember that cry of David, “My sin is ever before me” [Psalm 51:3]; he speaks as though it haunted him. He shut his eyes but he still saw its hideous shape; he sought his bed, but like a nightmare it weighed upon his breast; he rose, and it rose with him; he tried to shake it off among the haunts of men, in business and in pleasure, but like a blood-sucking vampire it clung to him. Sin was ever before him, as though it were painted on his eye-balls, the glass of his soul’s window was stained with it. He sought his closet but could not shut it out, he sat alone but it sat with him; he slept, but it cursed his dreams. His memory it burdened, his imagination it lit up with lurid flame, his judgment it armed with a ten-thonged whip, his expectations it shrouded in midnight gloom. A man needs no worse hell than his own sin, and an awakened conscience.

What is there to say after reading that quote except to sing: “Hallelujah! All I have is Christ / Hallelujah! Jesus is my life.”

At All Cost, Get This

Romans 5:20–21:

…but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Romans: Assurance (Banner of Truth, 1971), pages 299–300:

What grace has done is not merely to counteract exactly what sin has done. If grace had done that, and that alone, it would still be something wonderful. If the effect of grace had merely been to wipe out, and to cancel, all that had happened on the other side, we should have had a theme for praising God sufficient to last us through all eternity.

But, says the Apostle, it is not an exact counterbalance; what I have on the right side does not exactly tally with that I have on the left. In fact there is no comparison; it is a superfluity, an abounding, and engulfing, it is an overflowing on the side of grace. We must hold on to this truth at all costs and get it clear in our minds. The point is that grace does not merely exactly balance, it does not just undo what sin has done; it does much more.