by Michael E. Brooks
“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2 NKJV).
Prior to our departure in March for South Asia, we had dreaded the weather which we were expecting in Bangladesh during April and May. Ordinarily, this is the hottest time of the year in that country, just prior to the summer monsoons. Humidity builds up, but the cooling rains don’t normally start till nearer the first of June.
This year was different, however. We were blessed with unseasonable rains which moderated the climate considerably, and brought the planting season in earlier than normal. It was a comparatively comfortable period for us.
Generally speaking, though, we appreciate the consistency and predictability of climatic seasons Our agriculture and much else depend upon them. One of the blessings God has promised mankind is:
“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22).
Some plants require a cold season in order to generate reproduction of flowers and seeds for the new year. Others depend upon certain dry or wet periods. Seasons are good, even those which may include weather which we don’t particularly enjoy.
This concept of seasons has symbolic and spiritual application as well. Solomon wrote, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). His point is that all activities of men have an appropriate place in life, and even those which are unpleasant may be found useful.
Though seasons are a blessing, and there is a season for all that man does, we must note that some activities are never “in season” and others are never “out of season.”
Solomon’s proverb is a general rule pertaining to those activities which God has ordained for mankind. It is not to be understood as giving place to sin and wickedness. Concerning these Paul says, “But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints” (Ephesians 5:3).
Some things should not be done or thought about or even mentioned among Christians, ever!
On the other hand, some activities are to be carried on no matter how unpopular or inconvenient they may be.
Preaching the Gospel is paramount among these. Whether men receive it willingly, reluctantly, or not at all, Christians are to proclaim God’s word. It may be unfashionable, counter to modern philosophy, or politically incorrect. That is no matter. It is our message. It is our purpose and task.
Let us share the apostolic compulsion, “Yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:16).
by Michael E. Brooks