Summary: Dr. Wood shows his listeners that life is not fair as we know it, he uses this passage to show that Solomon wants people to live above this world.
When Solomon first began His book of Ecclesiastes He looked at life from an overall philosophical view point.
This is to say he was looking at it from a wisdom point of view.
He said that life was al meaningless and just continued like a snowball rolling down hill.
As King Solomon got to look at people the way that they really were.
The store business will really open up your eyes:
If you want to see what people are really like just go into a public business.
As King Solomon had to deal with the painful facts about people.
He dealt with :
e. even end time judgment
Solomon looks at some problems with life
1. He saw the problem of oppression
a. Verse 1 Solomon reviews his life
b. Solomon sees the tears of the oppressed
In Honduras the government will only allow a person to make $380 per month. This is the max. If an employer desires to pay an individual more than this he will pay a huge tax. There is profit there in keeping the people oppressed. I often thought if I could just go and start some kind of business and pay the people just a little bit better. A man from Carrollton and I actually looked into a packaging business so that we could instill some sort of gainful employment. Seeing the tears of those who are oppressed will cause any God hearted person to come along side that oppression.
Solomon sensed the oppression.
c. Solomon could see on the other side of their oppression
i. He noticed those in power could express what they wanted
ii. Those oppressed must not
iii. Goes back to the Honduras story.
d. Verse 2 and 3 Solomon reasons in his mind about the oppressed
i. I tell Cindy I am going to die first – Her reply is that she would be mad at me if I did
ii. V2 Solomon says those who have already died have it better
1. It is hard to argue this fact if those who died Know Jesus
2 Corinthian 5:8
We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord
iii. V3 It is better for those who have never seen any form of evil
1. We can think back to the perfect paradise of the Garden of Eden.
29 And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. 30 Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. 31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Contrast to Romans 8:8
8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God
Living in the flesh is to be living in evil
Trying to live and understand the event of this world will produce a fruitless life.
Most of the time only God know the purpose for our oppression. Leave it at that.
2. The Problem of Financial strides
a. The envy of a neighbor’s skillful work
i. It would drive me nuts to live beside Brock Stephens
1. His yard is so beautiful
2. Flowers are in just the right place and blooming at the appropriate time.
3. I would attempt to fertilize and make my yard look as good as his
ii. For what purpose?
1. He has the skill to nurture a pristine like yard.
I think of the sitcom Home Improvement where Tim Allen attempt to outdo his neighbors Christmas lights. In the process he kills the power for the entire neighborhood.
b. Solomon is going much deeper than these issues – he is speaking of financial rivalry
i. Simply Greed and pride of possessions
ii. He says it is all ridiculous
1. What will it mean in eternity
The tenth Commandment
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”
c. Solomon says there are two way to react to this;
i. Verse 5 – Fold your hands and do nothing about it.
One of the kids in our neighborhood while riding with us the other day said he was going to quit school when he reached 16 years old. We asked why? He said that he would just get his GED if he needed to.