God Sees It All: Living A Well-Balanced Life
“Again I saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun. And behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power, and there was no one to comfort them. And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive. But better than both is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun. Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man’s envy of his neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after wind. The fool folds his hands and eats his own flesh. Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.” Ecclesiastes 4:1-6 ESV
There is nothing new under the sun. Solomon not only states this truth, he goes further and shares examples. We see first-hand in the verses we read today the similarities between our world and his.
Injustice is all around
We see the injustice of oppression in our world every time we turn on the evening news, log on to a national news website, or open a newspaper. We live in a world full of oppression, corruption and injustice…and it makes our hearts ache for heaven.
Like us, Solomon despaired at the oppression he saw in his world. As he looked around, he saw injustice at every corner. Innocent people were being oppressed with no one to comfort them, and his heart ached as they wept. His response to this reality was to declare that it is better to never have been born than to have seen this evil. (vs. 4:3)
But remembering what we learned last week, we can take heart and know there is a season and time for everything. (vs. 3:1) We don’t have to take Solomon’s stand and declare death or never being born as better than seeing or experiencing oppression because we know that in time, justice is coming.
Justice is a guarantee. (Acts 17:30-31)
So though our court systems may fail us or individuals in our lives who have the power to help do not, we need not lose hope. For we know that justice does not lie in the justice system but in the Chief Justice Himself: Jesus Christ.
And take heart sweet friends, for just as God saw the injustice Solomon speaks of in Ecclesiastes 4:1-3, God sees the injustice in our world today.
God does not turn a blind eye to the pain, heartache and injustice in this world, and He doesn’t turn a blind eye to it in your life either.
God sees it, He knows.
So instead of getting angry, getting even or becoming sad or depressed, trust God. He will make all things right in His time. (vs. 3:11)
The Two Extremes: The Workaholic vs The Lazy One
Taking his eyes off of the oppression he was witnessing, Solomon then turns his attention to those earning a living in his country. This time he saw extreme opposites from those who would be considered workaholics to those who would be considered lazy. Both individuals were wrong in their view of work.
The workaholic is driven to make more, be more, and achieve more than his competition. Success, prestige and money drive him or her to push themselves to their limits, many times hurting themselves and those they love in the process. This in Solomon’s view is meaningless.
The lazy one is the exact opposite, but the damage can still be the same. Where one works too much and to hard, this other individual “folds his hands and ruins himself.” He or she doesn’t work hard, has no ambition or drive and his/her family suffers for it.
Both extremes are wrong. Both extremes focus on themselves…not God.
“Better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.” Ecclesiastes 4:6
There can be a balance between the two but only when the focus of working is on God. Our love for God must be our motive in work.
When we work, our desire should be for His glory…not ours. Where one may find meaningless in work and declare the time, sacrifice and effort not worth the cost…when God is the focus of the work and it is done out of love for Him…the investment is worth the price.
When we love God through our work, the motivation of our work changes. Instead of making beautiful things that will bring us glory and recognition, we make beautiful or useful products, which will bring Him the glory. We enjoy raising His name more than our own. He is the focus, and we delight when we are able to help people, serve people or point people to our risen Savior through the work of our hands, time or talents.
When we make God our focus, our priorities change. The “things” in this world become less important and the relationships in our lives become more important. We strive to be our best, not for our name’s sake, but for God’s.
But we also realize that ultimately God is in control, so we do our part but also allow God to do His. We work hard but not at the cost of sacrificing our families or relationships. We also need to make sure to take time to enjoy the gifts of time, family and friends God has so generously blessed us with.
We give glory to God when we take time to enjoy the life and gifts He has given to us.
Oh friend, despite what Solomon says, our lives and how we live them matter! Invest the gift of your days well! Focus on God, love Him, serve Him and make Him the focus of all your efforts! Love those He has placed in your life, and give Him glory in all things. And take heart, God sees you. He sees everything going on in our world, and remember that justice is coming. Take heart and trust Him. Until He comes back, learn from Solomon’s life and make God your focus…you can never go wrong.
Let’s Talk: What is something in your life that is out of balance, and what steps can you take this week to focus this area of your life back on God?
Love God Greatly,
Did you miss Monday’s post? View it here!