ANGLICAN DAILY FOUNTAIN DEVOTIONAL FOR OCTOBER 27, 2022 (GOD, THE LEVELLER!)
TOPIC : ”GOD, THE LEVELLER!”
Read: Ecclesiastes 3:16-4:16(NKJV)
16. Moreover I saw under the sun: [In] the place of judgment, Wickedness [was] there; And [in] the place of righteousness, Iniquity [was] there.
17. I said in my heart, “God shall judge the righteous and the wicked, For [there is] a time there for every purpose and for every work.”
18. I said in my heart, “Concerning the condition of the sons of men, God tests them, that they may see that they themselves are [like] animals.”
19. For what happens to the sons of men also happens to animals; one thing befalls them: as one dies, so dies the other. Surely, they all have one breath; man has no advantage over animals, for all [is] vanity.
20. All go to one place: all are from the dust, and all return to dust.
21. Who knows the spirit of the sons of men, which goes upward, and the spirit of the animal, which goes down to the earth?
22. So I perceived that nothing [is] better than that a man should rejoice in his own works, for that [is] his heritage. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?
23. Then I returned and considered all the oppression that is done under the sun: And look! The tears of the oppressed, But they have no comforter — On the side of their oppressors [there is] power, But they have no comforter.
24. Therefore I praised the dead who were already dead, More than the living who are still alive.
25. Yet, better than both [is he] who has never existed, Who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.
26. Again, I saw that for all toil and every skillful work a man is envied by his neighbor. This also [is] vanity and grasping for the wind.
27. The fool folds his hands And consumes his own flesh.
28. Better a handful [with] quietness Than both hands full, [together with] toil and grasping for the wind.
29. Then I returned, and I saw vanity under the sun:
30. There is one alone, without companion: He has neither son nor brother. Yet [there is] no end to all his labors, Nor is his eye satisfied with riches. [But he never asks,] “For whom do I toil and deprive myself of good?” This also [is] vanity and a grave misfortune.
31. Two [are] better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor.
32. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him [who is] alone when he falls, For [he has] no one to help him up.
33. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm [alone?]
34. Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
35. Better a poor and wise youth Than an old and foolish king who will be admonished no more.
36. For he comes out of prison to be king, Although he was born poor in his kingdom.
37. I saw all the living who walk under the sun; They were with the second youth who stands in his place.
38. [There was] no end of all the people over whom he was made king; Yet those who come afterward will not rejoice in him. Surely this also [is] vanity and grasping for the wind.
STUDY: In today’s passage, the ‘Preacher’ goes on to explain that power (which men are so ambitious of) and life itself, (which men are so fond and jealous of), are all nothing without the fear of God. He points out the reality of the place of God as the ultimate and perfect judge for both the wicked and the righteous (vv. 16-17). He further discusses the status of all flesh, both humans and animals (vv. 18-22). This comparison he made implies that it is only the religious consciousness in man that elevates him a little above other animal, else, man and animals are alike in fate. “For what happens to the sons of men also happens to animals…they all have one breath” (v.19). In Chapter 4, he sadly recognises the prevalence of oppression on earth. He however sustains that even the oppressed and the oppressor are altogether equal, being subject to One Master, God, The Leveller. The succeeding verses further unveil that our earthly existence is full of endless toils, and at the end, behind.
Here is the vanity of man as mighty he is even in his best estate. There is really nothing any human should glory for or brag about in this life since all flesh are subject to one fate (death) and one Master (God The Leveller). We are hereby encouraged to imbibe attitudes of absolute humility, maintain a sober conscience towards God, lead a simple and selfless lifestyle, work together in unity with others in forbearance and tolerance while bearing one another’s burdens, for two are better than one (Eccl. 4:9-16). Everything shall level up before God eventually.
PRAYER: When we shall all turn to skeletons; no one can identify which skeleton is the rich or that of the poor!
The Anglican Communion is the fourth-largest Christian denomination. Founded in 1867 in London, England, the communion currently has 85 million members within the Church of England and other national and regional churches in full communion.