The City

Look beyond the present

By Dale Stonecipher in Redeemer Church 9 months ago | 4127 views Link:

Dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

In Ecclesiastes, the Preacher seems to be describing much of what he sees in the world around him as vanity.  He appears to have experienced much, seen much, and gained much yet he calls it all folly.  We can see discouragement in his words.  If that’s the way he looks at the world with no further thought, it would not be surprising to be discouraged.

In chapter 4, he sees a great deal of oppression under the sun.  He mentions the tears of the oppressed and notes they have no one to comfort them.  The oppressors have the power on their side and the oppression continues.

He concludes, “And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive.  But better than both is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.”

What a statement to make!  It’s better not to have been born than to see evil abound.

I suppose if our focus remains on our current circumstances, at times we might be entertaining the same thoughts.  It’s possible to look around us and see the evils of the world, the craziness of politics, the fighting and war and persecution, the oppression of the poor, the racism, the crime, the broken relationships and think that it would be better not to have been born.  That was the conclusion of the Preacher. 

That was also the initial conclusion of Asaph in Psalm 73.  He looked around and saw the prosperity of the wicked. They lived always at ease and had an increase in riches.  They didn’t seem to have the difficulties that the poor and oppressed had.  Again, the focus on the world situation was discouraging to him.  But, fortunately, unlike the Preacher, the psalmist looked beyond the present.  So must we.

If we only look at the present and take our eyes off the goodness of our Lord and what He has done on our behalf and the future He has revealed and promised to us, we might think it better if we had not been born.

Asaph describes his new perspective as going into the sanctuary of God.  What a better vison he received!

He recognized that God guided him with His counsel and would afterward receive him into glory.  Those far off from God would perish but he would not.  His eternity was assured by God’s promise.  The circumstances would not always be dim.  One day they would be bright and glorious.

All those promises are based on the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus to atone for our sins so that we might behold His face and dwell in His house forever.  May we never forget the home that awaits us.  May we not let current situations cloud our vision so that we don’t see the future.  May we remember the promises God has given us of an eternity with Him.  May we not be discouraged but uplifted by His grace.  May we remember that when sin abounds, His grace much more abounds.




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Mary Leadbetter

Thank you Dale.

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Redeemer Church

We exist to equip God’s people to delight in His glory and declare that glory to our neighbors and the nations.

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Fort Worth, TX 76133

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