Solomon looks around and notices the oppressed. Some people are abused and mistreated their whole lives and then they die. They really didn’t have a chance to take pleasure in anything and there is no one to provide them with comfort. I don’t like it when the bad guys win, but the truth is that while we live in a fallen world we will suffer injustice.
Now Solomon notices that in life there is rivalry. At the end of the day what does being the richest man in the world get you? What does a nicer car really achieve? What does being the number one company in your division actually acomplish?
We can’t really quit on life simply because people will be jelous, but we don’t need to waste our lives jockeying for position either (4:5-6).
Here Solomon remindes us of one of the blessings of life… people. Have friends. Share a good meal with company. Have someone that labors with you and you can share your struggles with. Keep up with your old buddies. Don’t be lonely because you went after riches or spent all you time trying to be the biggest and best at something (4:8).
Now Solomon warns from pursuing popularity. While friends, real friends are a good thing, popularity never lasts.
Application: Tommy Neslson in his book A Life Well Lived sums it up well.
Do some things that will matter for eternity. Serve Christ as long as you can until your number comes up, then die well. Enjoy the things you do know and don’t be so distraught about the things you don’t (A Life Well Lived, 70).
Do you have friends that stick with yo through thick and thin? What keeps you from forming deep and abiding relationshis with others?
What are your thoughts on Ecclesiastes 4?