We’ve seen horrible things recently. There are always horrific things happening in the world, brokenness is always there, but the first half of 2020 feels clouded with suffering, hurt, and sin. Murders, racism, rioting, anarchy, economic drops, sickness, things that make us say, “Oh no! How could this be happening?” King Solomon, who lived among life comforts in every form, saw similar things in his time, and his writings confirm that our only hope comes from beyond the sun: Jesus Christ.

Here on the earth, where things are broken, safe places, churches, youth centers, summer camps, are not always safe. When we find that safe places are not safe, it not only creates chaos in our culture but unsettledness in our hearts. God has written His law on our hearts, which means we inherently know that wrongdoings need justice. Even a child whose toy has been taken from him knows that justice must be served. So, we create justice systems, but they fall short because systems are only as just as the people enforcing them.

We can take comfort in knowing that every injustice you see with your eyes is hated by God; it will be perfectly judged by God and met with God’s immediate mercy. When we sin against one another, we also sin against God. God is always the common denominator victim in every sin committed from one human to another. As a result, we long for the day of justice.

Every single human life is important to God and should be important to us. In America, people with darker skin have been mistreated throughout the history of our country. It is wrong, and we acknowledge that it is wrong. Oppression is a sin, and sin only has one remedy: Jesus Christ. God sent Jesus to die and rise, proving His justice and life after death. This remedy has been entrusted to the Church. The most important thing you can do for the cause of justice is to share the gospel with people who don’t know.

Another symptom of brokenness in this world is the restlessness we feel that is caused by envy. No matter what we have, we tend to see what others have that we do not. This creates envy. By believing we would be happy if we had what others have, we toil. Some even resist the futility of working to accumulate by running in the opposite direction. God has woven work and rest into the rhythm of life for a purpose. He calls us to love well, work hard, and rest!

Chasing success leads to great loneliness. Solomon saw the lonely CEO: he works, returns to a drafty house, counts his money, and goes to bed without a friend. This is not how God intends for us to live. It is not good for man to be alone! We are to pursue friendship in this life to combat loneliness, provide help, bring warmth, and feel protection.

And there is the peril we feel that comes with an increase or pursuit of popularity. When Solomon succeeded David as king, all the people came out to celebrate him. The more people who praise you, the more risk you carry in getting too proud to take advice. Since the Fall, we choose others, especially those whose heads are exposed due to fame or leadership. At times, leaders need to be replaced. But too often we miss out on the possibility of growth and sanctification because our eyes are fixed on the wrong savior. Only Jesus will rule with perfection!


 

SERMON NOTES 

  1. The unjust oppression of the weak. (Ecclesiastes 3:16-4:3) 

    1. Romans 3:10 — God has written His law on our hearts. 

    2. Hebrews 9:27 — God will judge. 

    3. Matthew 6:10 — Oppression is a sin with one remedy. God entrusted His church with this remedy. Share the gospel. Pray. Vote. Peaceful protest. Comfort. 

  2. The restlessness caused by envy. (Ecclesiastes 4:4-6) 

    1. Exodus 20:9-10 — God has woven work and rest into the rhythm of life. 

  3. The loneliness of chasing success. (Ecclesiastes 4:7-12) 

  4. The peril of popularity. (Ecclesiastes 4:13-16) 

 

INTROSPECTIVE QUESTIONS 

  • Are you condemning God for oppression that He hates? 

  • Have you trusted Christ and been justified through Him? 

  • How can you pursue justice as we await perfect justice? 

  • What does your work-rest balance practically look like? 

  • Are you pursuing friendship?

  • Are you looking upward before looking outward? 

 

CLOSING THOUGHTS

“He has told you, O man, what is good;
     and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God?”
– Micah 6:8

 

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