Faithlife Sermons

Wake Up Call Part 4

Wake Up Call  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Oppression is real, and it starts with you.

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“Wake up Call” = a person or thing that causes people to become fully alert to an unsatisfactory situation and to take action to remedy it
So we are going to be getting some wake up calls.
In the book of Ecclesiastes we get several wake up calls that alerts us to reality and challenges us to make a change.
Review: 1) All is Vanity 2) Your Life Pursuits are Pointless 3) God is sovereign, and you are not!
Wake Up Call: There is Oppression and Injustice and We are a Part of It.

The Ever Present Reality of Oppression (4:1-3)

Notice “all the oppressions” --they are endless
You don’t have to watch the news long to realize that oppression and injustice are still an issue in our world.
Now I used to say, “that’s not a problem any more” We had civil rights. Things are better now.
And my black friends are quick to point out, “That’s easy for you to say.” (give a story about this)
What is oppression?

The unfair or cruel treatment of individuals or nations, which prevents them from having the same opportunities, freedom and rights as others.

There is almost always a “down range” for oppression … only those at the very, very bottom have no one to oppress.
The Bible mentions all these types of oppression and more.
There is almost always a “down range” for oppression … only those at the very, very bottom have no one to oppress.
Jardim Gramacho; Sweatshops in China; etc.
Oppress is the result of people seeking to gain at the expense of others—whether intentionally or not
It is very clear that God abhors all forms of oppression
Isaiah 49:26 ESV
I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh, and they shall be drunk with their own blood as with wine. Then all flesh shall know that I am the Lord your Savior, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”
To the Oppressor

The Equal Dangers of Oppression and the Oppressed (4:1b & 4-6)

In verse 4b, “...behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them!”
Indeed, our world is full of people that are oppressed in some way and some horribly so. If we really pay attention we will become overwhelmed—just like Solomon here.
Oppressor=judgement & emptiness & shame
Solomon remarkably acknowledges the oppressor— “On the side of their oppressors there was power, and there was no one to comfort them. (v. 1c)
Solomon knows that being the oppressor, taking advantage of others sucks genuine joy out of us.
Oppressed=envy & idleness (entitlement)
Then he mentions the oppressed again: “Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man's envy of his neighbor. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.The fool folds his hands and eats his own flesh.” (vv. 4-5)
The fool folds his hands and eats his own flesh.
The twin danger is that those who are downrange of injustice and oppression will be consumed by envy. And this will lead to idleness and “eating ones own hands”

The Essential Solution to the Problem (4:7-12)

“You can either hate your neighbor and so destroy yourself (4:1-6), or you can love your neighbor and so love yourself (4:7-16).”
“... in chapter 4 he highlights the innate desire to get ahead of our neighbor rather than living gladly with the responsibilities that he or she places on us.”
And this expresses itself both in those who oppress and those who are oppressed.
“The universe you inhabit and the life you have today come from God’s hand as something you do not deserve.
Live it before God with reverence and obedience and joy and as you enjoy, share. Share what you have with others. It’s as simple as that.”
“The Preacher is probing deep inside the human heart. All this striving and toiling, working and working and working: it is all motivated by me. But what about others? What do they need? How can I be a giver instead of a getter?, a servant of others instead of lord of myself?
Piper Quote: READ


Jesus was oppressed, faced judgement, and gave everything for us. So that we could 1) escape the full justice of God and 2) live like he did—giving to others
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