Ecclesiastes 9:2-16 (NIV) 2All share a common destiny–the righteous and the wicked, the good and the bad, the clean and the unclean, those who offer sacrifices and those who do not. As it is with the good man, so with the sinner; as it is with those who take oaths, so with those who are afraid to take them. 3This is the evil in everything that happens under the sun: The same destiny overtakes all. The hearts of men, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live, and afterward they join the dead. 4Anyone who is among the living has hope–even a live dog is better off than a dead lion! 5For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even the memory of them is forgotten. 6Their love, their hate and their jealousy have long since vanished; never again will they have a part in anything that happens under the sun. 7Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do. 8Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil. 9Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun– all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun. 10Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom. 11I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. 12Moreover, no man knows when his hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so men are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them.13I also saw under the sun this example of wisdom that greatly impressed me: 14There was once a small city with only a few people in it. And a powerful king came against it, surrounded it and built huge siegeworks against it. 15Now there lived in that city a man poor but wise, and he saved the city by his wisdom. But nobody remembered that poor man. 16So I said, “Wisdom is better than strength.” But the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are no longer heeded.
You can tune it out.
You can despair it.
You can live for yourself.
If there’s no God, then there’s no basis for
being outraged at injustice.
If evil is a problem for you, there must be a
God reveals a saving wisdom.
God reveals a serving wisdom.
God reveals a despised wisdom.
Jesus Christ meets us in our pain and
Jesus Christ ultimately satisfies injustice.
Matthew 27:46 (HCSB) About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Elí, Elí, lemá sabachtháni?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
2 Corinthians 5:21 (NCV) Christ had no sin, but God made him become sin so that in Christ we could become right with God.
Isaiah 49:15-18 (NIV) 15“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! 16See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me. 17Your sons hasten back, and those who laid you waste depart from you. 18Lift up your eyes and look around; all your sons gather and come to you. As surely as I live,” declares the LORD, “you will wear them all as ornaments; you will put them on, like a bride.”
2 Corinthians 5:10-20 (NIV) 10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. 11Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. What we are is plain to God… 15And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 16So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
##### Talk It Over
– When you see injustice, pain, and suffering, how do you respond today? Now that you have the “heart” of the answer, what steps can you take to change how you might respond in the future?
– Think about the “head answer” that the Bible provides on how to deal with injustice. Do you agree or disagree? Is there a sticking point for you? Talk this through with your small group.
– Reflect on the life of Jesus. Knowing that he experienced pain and suffering, does it help you to draw closer to him? If not, what is holding you back?
– Read 2 Corinthians 5:21. What do you see that God has done through Jesus for you? Write these down.
– Can you think about a time when Jesus met you in your pain, suffering or walked with you through an injustice? Use this time to reflect on the comfort that he provided, and he continues to provide in your life. Share this insight with a close friend.
– Although we normally think of God as “our Father”, God is a full loving parent. What insight do you gain about him from considering God as a mother? How have you experienced this type of maternal care from God?
Parents – Check out the information on our kid’s page at *northpointe.org/kids* where you’ll find info on Sunday services and family resources to help you as you navigate this current season.
With a passion for Christ that is undeniable, Shane directly involves his listeners in each message. He speaks with high energy and delivers powerful teaching that is relevant to current life issues.