Better off being Born Again

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 4:2-3, ‘And I declared that the dead, who had already died, are happier than the living, who are still alive. But better than both is he who has not yet been, who has not seen the evil that is done under the sun.’

 

Observations: As Solomon looked around him he saw how people were oppressed and how they found no comfort in life (v1) and as a result he ‘declared that the dead were happier than the living.’ His conclusion was that life was so difficult and so pointless that we are better off being dead. In fact, even better is if we had never been, if we had never experienced ‘the evil that is done under the sun.’ Of course that may not be everyone’s experience, but the reality is that because of sin, at some time we all experience these feelings. At some time we all experience the results of sin, either in our own lives as we hurt those we love, or in the lives of others as they hurt us. We cannot escape evil in this world. For many in this world the consequences of sin are a daily battle as they face war, and injustice and disease, but even for us in a relatively peaceful and comfortable society in Australia we experience broken relationships, disappointments and division.

 

Application: Thankfully, we read verses like these in the context of the whole of Scripture. Later in the Bible we read, ‘For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (2 Cor 4:17)’ Paul would agree that if all we had was this life than we are to be pitied more than all men (1 Cor 15:19), but we believe that there is more than just this life. In fact, the troubles that we experience here will mean nothing compared to the life that awaits us beyond death. Sometimes we may wish that we had never been born (Job 3:3; Jer 20:14-15 cf. Mt 26:24), but those who have been born again, who have been born by the Spirit of God (Jn 3:8), will overcome the world and receive eternal life (1 Jn 5:4,11).

 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, I want to thank You that I wasn’t just born into this broken and sinful world to face an existence without meaning or purpose. I want to thank You that I wasn’t born to just face the consequences of my sin and the sins of others. Lord, I thank You that by Your Spirit I have been born again, and my existence is now defined, not by this world, or this life, but by the world to come, by eternal life. Lord, because of Your grace in Jesus Christ, all the hardships of this world are far outweighed by the glory to come. Lord, I thank You for the joy and hope that await me in heaven, in Your glorious presence. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

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