Ecclesiastes 4:1-6 NIV
Oppression, Toil, Friendlessness
4 Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun: I saw the tears of the oppressed— and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors— and they have no comforter. 2 And I declared that the dead, who had already died,
are happier than the living, who are still alive. 3 But better than both is the one who has never been born, who has not seen the evil that is done under the sun. 4 And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. 5 Fools fold their hands and ruin themselves. 6 Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.
Do you often see yourself in the role of the oppressed or the oppressor?
Lord, we live in a self-centered culture. It is contrasted from those who hunger for riches and grab power at the expense of others with those who are capable of work but just want others to provide for them out of their laziness. Both are selfish and both lead to ruin. Many are envious of the success of others and want what they have now, without realizing the time and effort that it took to achieve that success. That is foolishness and chasing after the wind. Let me not envy the success of others but be industrious with the skills, abilities, and opportunities that You have provided. Help me to live my life in balance. I pray that I focus on You and what You did for me before I consider what I have or have not. Allow me to lead others through Your love and not for my selfish gain. Allow me to be satisfied in my work and contribute to what I do without being consumed by it. I pray that I may enjoy the blessings of work and relationships. Give me endurance and Your peace as I am oppressed under the hands of those who try to steal what I have earned. Although You were a king You had compassion on the multitudes, fed them when they were hungry, healed diseases, and gave them the hope of salvation through Your word. Lord help me to be more like You. That is true success. Amen