Daily Devotions


Day 32

"A time to tear"

Text: Ecclesiastes 3:7


To the astute observer, there is much to see and to learn. Some observations are drawn from religious practices.

“A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak.”
Ecclesiastes 3:7

1. “A time to tear”

a) This is not an observation about tailoring.
b) In ancient Jewish customs tearing of a garment was done:
i) As an expression of great mourning.
ii) At the death of a beloved family member or friend.
iii) When one hears blasphemous words spoken.
iv) Tearing the garment in this instance is an expression of angry protest
and not just grief.

c) It is perfectly normal to express grief in such strong measures.

2. “A time to sew”

a) The sewing here speaks of mending the garment that has been torn.
b) The period of mourning must end sometime.
c) Mending of the garment symbolises the ending of the mourning and the commencement of returning to normal life.

3. “A time to keep silence”

a) In deep moments of grief, a person may find himself silent.
b) This is also quite normal.
c) Grief may need to be expressed.
i) Sometimes it is expressed in words.
ii) At other times, it is expressed in silence.
d) It is wise to respect silence when it occurs.

4. “And a time to speak”

a) Speaking is normal.
b) It is a good means of establishing social contact.
c) Speaking and/ or keeping silent must be carefully
i) Understood.
ii) Moderated.
iii) Applied in wisdom.