Cut Throat World
Topic: Exposition Scripture: Ecclesiastes 3:16–4:6
We live, not to get but for God, not for gain, but by grace.
The world is twisted and broken, ravaged by sin. It is groaning under the weight of sin and injustice [Romans 8:20-22]. It wasn’t created this way, nor will it remain this way. We live by a promise that God is making all things new [Revelation 21:2].
God is keeping account, and He will judge the thoughts, actions and deeds of men. There is nothing done under the sun that goes unseen or unknown, because the God of the universe see’s all, knows all, and will judge all.
We are but finite beings, with breath in us given from God and life in this world is fleeting and vaporous. We were created by God to return to God, where animals were seemingly created to derive ALL of their enjoyment from this fleeting world. In one man all have sinned and die, but in the One, Jesus, all those He is calling to Himself will be made alive [Romans 5].
We must fight the injustice and oppression of this world not only by what we do, but also by how we think and live. Looking on and wishing things were better is simply not enough. God has equipped us and called us to do much more.
Striving after wealth, power, and recognition is futile because those things are temporal. They will not bring lasting joy, satisfaction or peace. They, like all of us, are a vapor.
This is less about good and bad, and more about what’s ultimate. If our life is defined by where we work, what we have, what we drive, who we know, our next promotion, our ability to influence, our skills or abilities, or anything else other than the One who made us and gave us life we are living in idolatry. We will have made good things God things, and it is a form of worship. Envy, greed, lust, power, control, being a workaholic, these are forms of worship, and they subvert our identity in Christ.
Community Meditation Questions
1. How can God be in control when the world is so broken and there is so much evil in it? The wicked at times seem to prosper in sin and the righteous are at times suffer in their obedience. Is God truly good? Is He truly in control?
2. When will God judge sin, injustice, and unrighteousness? Why does He let it persist?
3. Are we really no different than animals? Where does my spirit go when I die?
4. If Solomon was King, why didn’t he do something about the injustice he saw, rather than just lamenting about it? What should we do to face down injustice, oppression, and abuses of the weak and powerless?
5. Shouldn’t I desire to be good at what I do, to be the best? What’s wrong with competition?
6. In a world ravaged by oppression, injustice, inequity, and brokenness, is what you wear, what you drive, where you live, what you earn, and being remembered really the most important aspects of life? Is this really the place to hang your hope, your life, your identity, and your worth?