Words Of Truth
"That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth..." (Proverbs 22:21).
An Overview Of The Old Testament
Part 199 – No Comforter Through Being Alone (Ecclesiastes 4:1-8)
1. When considering the carnal side of life, who is comfortless and who is powerful?
Carnally, the BOTH (oppressor and oppressed) are comfortless while the oppressors are powerful: “So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter” (Ecclesiastes 4:1).
Š There is no sure comfort that is of this world (Psalms 69:20, Psalms 142:4, Proverbs 19:7, John 16:33, and II Timothy 4:16).
Š Oppression is a worldly reality (Exodus 3:9, Ezekiel 22:29, and James 2:6).
Š The cries of the oppressed are not ignored, as the oppressors will answer for their wrongs (James 5:1-7; cf. Psalms 103:6).
Š Thankfully, we can find comfort through the Lord (II Corinthians 1:3), the Scriptures (Romans 15:4 and I Thessalonians 4:18), and faithful brethren (I Thessalonians 5:11) in times of oppression.
2. In seeing the oppression and lack of comfort in this world, is it better to be living or to be dead?
Dead: “Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive” (Ecclesiastes 4:2).
Š For some, being dead is more appealing than being miserable (Job 3:11-22 and Ecclesiastes 9:4-6).
Š For us who are faithful, we’ll embrace life (Philippians 1:20-24 and I Peter 3:10) and death (Ecclesiastes 7:1 and Luke 23:43).
3. In fact, are there times wherein it would be better to have never been born?
Yes: “Yea, better is he than both they, which hath not yet been, who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 4:3).
Š When hope is lacking and sorrow abounds, people can hate that they’ve been born (Jeremiah 20:14-18 and Luke 23:27-31).
Š This applies in other circumstances, such as with Judas (Matthew 26:24).
4. Could your hard work turn out to be something that causes others to envy you?
Yes: “Again, I considered all travail, and every right work, that for this a man is envied of his neighbour. This is also vanity and vexation of spirit” (Ecclesiastes 4:4).
Š Genesis 4:1-8 (cf. I John 3:12), Genesis 37:9-11 (cf. Acts 7:9), Psalms 106:16, Matthew 27:18, Acts 13:45, and Acts 17:1-5; cf. Proverbs 27:4.
5. What verse, in our current context of study, describes a lazy person?
“The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh” (Ecclesiastes 4:5).
Š Proverbs 6:6-11, Proverbs 12:27, and Proverbs 13:4.
Š The slothful man will starve himself through laziness (Proverbs 19:15 and Proverbs 26:13-15).
6. What is better than having an abundance of things that are accompanied with travail and vexation of spirit?
Having a little with quietness: “Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit” (Ecclesiastes 4:6).
Š Having a little (Psalms 37:16, Proverbs 15:16-17, Proverbs 16:8, and Proverbs 17:1).
Š Having an abundance of things doesn’t make travail [labor that is wearing] (cf. Psalms 107:10-13) and vexation of spirit (Isaiah 65:14) better.
7. What is the point of working hard and gaining wealth if you have no one to share it with?
It is vanity: “(7) Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun. (8) There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he, For whom do I labour, and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail” (Ecclesiastes 4:7-8).
Š Psalms 39:6, Psalms 49:10-11, Proverbs 27:24, and Luke 12:20-21.
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