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May 31, 2020

Scripture Reading: Ecclesiastes 4:1-12

Ecclesiastes 4 is partly about the struggle between people. We must not forget that Solomon's father was David and, for all his achievements, there had been much strife in David's life and family. Solomon had seen the tragic results of pride and ambition and how they not only destroy lives, but relationships. Man's inhumanity to man was more than obvious to Solomon, and is to anyone who is willing to look at life with open eyes.

The chapter begins with a reference to oppression (Ecc 4:1). Oppression is a two-edged sword. It is a paradoxical cruelty. On the one hand, it tyrannizes the oppressors … their power enslaves them. On the other hand, oppression demoralizes the oppressed … their helplessness discourages them. The passage goes on to consider the strife that exists, even between neighbors (Ecc 4:4-6).

Solomon's answer to the strife is community (Ecc 4:9-12). Community gives strength, assistance, peace, security, joy, love. It is the language of community. God has made us in His image and there was/is, in the Godhead, wonderful and infinitely satisfying communion between the three persons of the Godhead (cf. Jn 17:24). So God has made us to enjoy relationships … with Him most of all … and with each other, in His love.

The community of the people of God in our time is the church. It is not overstating the case to say that the church is the answer to oppression and strife and loneliness in our need for community. When the church functions as it was designed to function, with the people within it being all that God called them to be, there is no human organization which can add such rich quality to living.

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Bethel Baptist Church
24600 Little Mack Ave
St Clair Shores, MI 48080