“The profoundest reasoner, and the greatest divine, in my opinion, that America ever produced.” — Samuel Davies, July 1, 1759
Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 says, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: 2 a time to be born, and a time to die;”
The writer of Ecclesiastes expressed that there is an appropriate occasion for every human event and activity. In other words, life is incredibly complex and characterized by contrasts.
In today’s text, the writer sets forth the recognized contrast between when we are born and when we die. In effect the writer said that all of us have a point in time when we are born and conversely all of us have a point in time when we die. There are no exceptions.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 is a fitting text of Scripture when studying the life of Jonathan Edwards; especially in the year 1728-1730. It was during those three years that the Edwards’ would not only rejoice in the birth of children but also experience grief in the death of loved ones.
Jonathan and Sarah’s first child, their daughter Sarah, was born August 25, 1728. It was a Sunday. The Edwards family of two was now three.
Sadly, the following February Solomon Stoddard died. The man who faithfully preached the Word of God and served the people of God in Northampton was now in the presence of God in heaven. People throughout New England mourned his passing. Tributes were many and praiseworthy of this dedicated man of God.
“Stoddard was a Prophet and a Father to not only to the neighboring churches, and pastors of his own country, but also to those of the whole land. He was a Peter among the disciples and minsters of our Lord Jesus; very much our Primate and Prince among us, in an evangelical and truly apostolic sense,” wrote one individual in Boston.
Even more grievous was the death of Jonathan’s nineteen-year-old sister, Jerusha in December, 1729. While they may have differed in personality, their love for the Lod was fervent. In that, they were as one.
However, in the midst of grief the Lord often brings joy. The following April a second Edwards’ daughter was born. They named her Jerusha, after her deceased aunt. It was said that in both life and death, these two women resembled each other.
The Edwards’ family was growing. So too were the young pastor’s responsibilities in the wake of his grandfather’s death. However, Jonathan Edwards would prove to be up to the task the Lord sovereignly gave him.
The Lord remains faithful in the tasks He has given believers in Christ today. Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Soli deo Gloria!