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"Oppression and the Task of Love" (Ecclesiastes 3:16-4:16) (Ecclesiastes 3:16-4:16)

Benjamin Lee, August 5, 2018
Part of the Ecclesiastes: Life With the Gracious God series, preached at a Sunday Morning service

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Ecclesiastes 3:16-4:16

16And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there. 17I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work. 18I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts. 19For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. 20All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. 21Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth? 22Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him? 4:1 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. 2Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive. 3Yea, better is he than both they, which hath not yet been, who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the sun. 4Again, 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. 5The fool foldeth his hands together, and eateth his own flesh. 6Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit. 7Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun. 8There 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. 9Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. 10For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. 11Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? 12And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. 13Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished. 14For out of prison he cometh to reign; whereas also he that is born in his kingdom becometh poor. 15I considered all the living which walk under the sun, with the second child that shall stand up in his stead. 16There is no end of all the people, even of all that have been before them: they also that come after shall not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and vexation of spirit. (KJV)

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