Ecclesiastes 4:1-16 We live in a dog-eat-dog world. It is the survival of the fittest in this “life under the sun,” and the law of the jungle prevails. Solomon is searching for an answer, “What makes life worth living?” He has looked at everything he can accomplish alone but has not found his answer. So now he considers the social world around him. Maybe he will find what he is looking for in society.
The first thing he examines in society is the world of politics and is dismayed to find so much corruption. Much of the government that he sees in the world around him is bad government. That really shouldn’t surprise us, since men with their sinful natures are the ones who are running the governments. Solomon sees so much oppression. Most of the tears and sorrows in this life are caused by men themselves. Oppression invariably preys on the weak and the young, those who cannot defend themselves. The leaders who are in power are looking out for their own interests, rather than protecting the people they are supposed to be governing.
When you live a life without God, the chief motivation of human ambition becomes trying to get ahead of others. The reason we want so many new things is to be able to impress all of the people around us that we don’t like. But what does that profit? If our motivations are impure, we should not be surprised when our achievements leave us empty and dissatisfied. Competition has never produced companionship but only makes others envious of us. It will always leave us feeling alone like we are grasping for the wind. Ecclesiastes 4:4
But the answer is not to drop out of life, to stop working and let someone else feed you. That would be a fool’s choice and would destroy your life in the end. We should learn to enjoy a life full of contentment with the things we already have. I Timothy 6:6 That in itself is great gain.
Solomon gives some good advice about why We Need To Learn To Live Together In Unity!
The lonely man is working very hard but he does not have a son or brother, so why is he working like this? He has no one to inherit the fruit of his exhausting labor, but yet is never satisfied with his riches. Ecclesiastes 4:8
Friends strengthen you and bring out the best in you. Team effort is always better than the man working alone. Friends help you to accomplish more than you could have ever done by yourself, and your work will be much more enjoyable.
There is always the possibility of our failure in life, but if you have a friend to walk with you, your chances of falling are greatly reduced. And if you do fall, you will have someone to help pick you up and get you started again. Ecclesiastes 4: 10.
If you are alone in life, there will be no one to help keep you warm on a cold, dark night. If you are traveling alone on a journey, you will find it hard to rest, when you try to sleep among strangers. Ecclesiastes 4: 11
As much as we hate to admit it, there are people who would take advantage of us and attack us in an unsuspecting moment if they had the opportunity. When you are surrounded by those who love you, it gives you great security and protection from enemies who would try to harm you. Ecclesiastes 4: 12
When people continue to stay in places of authority for long periods of time, it is easy for them to lose touch with reality and think they cannot be replaced. They become like an old, foolish king who will no longer listen to advice.
The old king is usually replaced by some young unknown who promises to become a great leader. The people all cheer the new king but as soon as the excitement has faded away and the reality of solving hard problems has set in, the crowds leave and the people begin looking for a new “Superman” to satisfy their desires. The politician soon finds, he is only as popular as his last election. Many of the fickle people who applaud you today will be the same people who oppose you tomorrow. Popularity is as unstable as the wind. You never know which direction it will be blowing next. Ecclesiastes 4: 13-16