Chapter 3:1. For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.
Here too, as has been said before, Solomon is speaking about human works, that is, about works undertaken by human counsel. Because they do not observe this, the interpreters suppose that he is speaking here about the corruption of created things. Therefore you should understand this as follows: All human works and efforts have a certain and definite time of acting, of beginning, and of ending, beyond human control. Thus this is spoken in opposition to free will. It is not up to us to prescribe the time, the manner, or the effect of the things that are to be done; and so it is obvious that here our strivings and efforts are unreliable. Everything comes and goes at the time that God has appointed. He proves this on the basis of examples of human works whose times lie outside the choice of man. From this he draws the conclusion that it is useless for men to be tormented by their strivings and that they do not accomplish anything, even though they were to burst, unless the proper time and the hour appointed by God has come. Here the statement in the Gospel is pertinent (John 7:30): “His hour had not yet come”; and again (John 16:21): “When a woman is in travail, she has sorrow, because her hour has come.” So the power of God comprehends all things in definite hours, so that they cannot be hindered by anyone. (Luther’s Works, v.15 p.49)