All posts by Simon Twist

Ecclesiastes 6:7-8:1 – The Advantage of Wisdom

Discussion question:

What’s the wisest thing you have ever heard?

Read Ecclesiastes 6:7-8:1

Context

Ecclesiastes 1-4 was filled with the Teacher, the king of Israel, giving the ‘life under the sun’ perspective and it is described as a ‘chasing after the wind’ and it is ‘meaningless’ or ‘misty’.

Chapter 5 focused on the foolishness of pursuing money rather than listening to God and fearing him. In Chapter 2 he concluded that wisdom is better than folly, obviously. Now we turn to that topic in more detail.

Observation

Structure

  • (6:7-12) What advantage have the wise over fools?
    • (7:1-6) Wisdom that matters
    • (7:7-12) The enemy of wisdom
    • (7:13-29) But where are the wise?
  • (8:1) The last word on wisdom

*This section is an exploration digging deeper into his query of Chapter 2. Cleary the wise are better off but why? Chapter 7 covers wisdom in a Proverbs kind of way.

(6:7-12) What advantage have the wise over fools?

“What advantage have the wise over fools?” This is the question of verse 8 and the whole section of Verses 7-11 explore the idea that there is no advantage. Note Verse 11, “…how does that profit anyone?” This is the purpose of Versess 7-11. We’ll step through the bits for clarity.

“Everyone’s toil is for their mouth…” Both the wise and the fool need to eat. The major project of life is not wisdom but survival. And it is never ending. We, like the animals, must go from meal to meal.

“What do the poor gain…” If someone is poor and without food, how is behaving properly going to improve their position?

“Better what the eye sees than…” Food in the hand is better than a growing appreciation of the palette! 

“This too is meaningless…” This recurring phrase helps us to catch his point but also as a marker of a change in argument.

“…already been named…has been known…” Is the human race really learning more? Aren’t we just relearning what has always been? And when all is said and done, a strong man will win.

“…how does that profit anyone?” Many words do not add to the sense of things. When we look at it all, you could argue that a smart and well educated man is no better off than a bear. Both need to eat and the bear will always take the salmon. Of course, the intellectual would carry a gun and fence off the compound from the bear and so on, there is scope to challenge the Teacher at this point but his question remains: what advantage have the wise over fools?

“For who knows what is good for a person…” This is an excellent question about authority and wisdom. Who is the author of wisdom? How do we know what is good during the brief stay we have here on earth? The Teacher has this view like we are just bacteria or insects on the planet with too much higher thinking – what is the point of it? The point of Verses 7-12 is to lead us into his answer in 13 onwards. There is an advantage.

“Who can tell them what will happen under the sun after they are gone?” God has put eternity in our hearts but we are so limited in our knowledge of it. What happens once we are gone? And therefore, why should we care?

(7:1-6) Wisdom that matters

“…for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart.” It is worth going through each statement of Verses 1-6 which are self explanatory. The high point is this statement: wisdom is better because it is better to be prepared for the end and work backwards from there. 6:12 described our life as shadow, and how do we know more than what we are eating for dinner (7-11). The answer is for us to understand that we will die and live with this knowledge very much in our minds rather than ignored. This is wisdom.

“This too is meaningless.” Again, note the tagline to suggest the end of a thought.

(7:7-12) The enemy of wisdom

“Wisdom preserves those who have it.” The end of this section is the point. Preservation is key but as we pass through the various statements in this section we can see that losing wisdom is so easy. Our ‘animal instinct’ can overthrow wisdom for various reasons. The enemy of wisdom is sin.

“Extortion…bribe…” These can turn a wise person to a fool. Wisdom is very fragile when sin is against it.

“The end of a matter is better…” Hard things are hard – whether it is a hard conversation or a difficult project. The end is better. But the journey ought to be filled with patience rather than pride. Pride presumes that you will win, but patience may well achieve it.

“…anger resides in the lap of fools.” Again, sin is the downfall of wisdom. A fool will have anger at the ready like an unholstered gun.

“…why were the old days better…” This is evidence that there is nothing new – even new winges – under the sun!

“Wisdom, like an inheritance…benefits…is a shelter…wisdom preserves…” Just as money is a tool for existence, so is wisdom – it is a good house to live in.

(7:13-29) But where are the wise?

“This only have I found: God created mankind upright, but they have gone in search of many schemes.” Again, using the final word as the summary, we see that this long section (which could be further broken down if we were eager) is a search for true wisdom – the scope of it and the frustration of it. Life under the sun is not easy, it even frustrates the search for wisdom. Nobody is righteous but perhaps one man.

“…what [God] has made crooked…” We noticed back in 1:15 that the world we live in is crooked from sin. Verse 29, however, says that God has made mankind upright. If God had made us broken then this would be impossible to fix, and we know that sin is our constant enemy. But we have been made with the potential to be wise. By the grace of God we are able to say no to sin (Titus 2:11-14). This is a broad overview of what God himself can fix. Back to Ecc 7, however, leads us to the wisdom of knowing what hard times are given just as good times are. This is beyond our control.

“When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad…” Ecclesiastes teaches here that bad times come to all – it is not a punishment. Sickness and disaster just happens – it is not directly the result of sin. But the Teacher does remind us that all of it is under God’s sovereign hand. See also Verse 15.

“Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.” If there’s no cause and effect to do with good times or bad then how can a person predict their future? Nobody knows what will happen in a year from now. We have been shown this all too clearly in 2020-2021. See James 4:13-16!

“Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.” Isn’t it interesting to be told to avoid over righteousness and also an implication that wickedness will be part of our makeup but keep it in check! But there is a tipping way toward righteousness. Don’t be over wise but don’t be a fool. The fear of the Lord is our key to winning here. Live this life conscious of the Lord who reigns. See Ecc 3:14. Overthinking wisdom will destroy us!

“…no one on earth who is righteous…” Interesting little insight by the Teacher.

“I am determined to be wise – but this was beyond me.” The Teacher admits that while wisdom is better, it is hard and impossible to maintain. Notice the connection between wisdom and righteousness. It is so hard to avoid sin! So much that we need to not take things too far when someone else sins.

“I found one upright man among a thousand…” The point is that the righteous person is a rare species. Even the Teacher was cut from the list.

“…not one upright woman…” My safety net here is that the only righteous person I know is the Lord Jesus Christ, and he is not originating from this earth (Verse 20).

“…God created mankind upright, but they have gone in search of many schemes.” Mankind is guilty of sin – we cannot blame God for our rebellious heart. We go in search of many schemes. Making money and building barns and oppressing others so that we can be king. These have all been covered by the Teacher already.

(8:1) The last word on wisdom

“Who is like the wise?” Wise people are like the wise – fools are not. This is a category question. What does wisdom give us?

“Who knows the explanation of things?” Answer: the wise. They have their eyes inside their head (Ecc 2:14) while the fool lives in darkness. Wisdom is a shelter like money is a shelter. It is better to be aware of our death than to live in ignorance. 

“A person’s wisdom brightens their face and changes its hard appearance.” Is this a measure of wisdom? If it is not softening our face then we’re doing it wrong? Let’s imagine that a person who knows and fears God, who understands the grace of God and that in the end, we will see him without condemnation through Christ – that ought to soften our faces.

Suggested questions for running this study.

Q1. “What advantage have the wise over fools?” (6:8) According to Chapter 6 Verses 7-12, how would you answer that?

Q2. According to Chapter 7 Verses 1-6, what things do the wise think about? 

Q3. Looking at Verses 7-12, what things fight against wisdom to make it hard?  

Q4. What is the advantage of wisdom then?

Q5.  Compare Verse 13 with Verse 29 which bookend the whole section of Verses 13 to 29. What is this section trying to teach us?

Q6. Answer the question of Chapter 8 Verse 1.

Meaning

Wisdom is better for us because we live with understanding. We live in the fear of the Lord and knowledge about our place in the universe. Being conscious of death means we will be wise with the resources of today. The enemy among us is sin. Which is not an external enemy but comes from our own desires to scheme and be drawn to foolishness. The fact is that nobody is righteous! While it is our shelter and better than ten kings, it is also allusive to us.

Application

Challenge#1 The sinfulness of mankind

The gospel teaches us that we all need saving. Ecclesiastes 7:29 says that it is the schemes of people that are the problem. This whole section has outlined how impossible it is for you and I to remain sinless, to walk the path of righteousness and wisdom. Even as we try, we are led astray by our passions and cravings. Titus 2:11-14 outlines what God has done to save us AND to give us the ability to say no to ungodliness. We need saving from ourselves and God has done it. It is over to us to choose the harder road of saying no to sin – this too by the grace of God. Read also Ephesians 3:14-21 on how we can grasp real wisdom.

Challenge#2 The Limit of Wisdom

We do not know what tomorrow will bring and we do not know how long our investments will last. Ecclesiastes 7:14 says, “When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.” There is no guarantee of cause and effect. Wise people will suffer too. Read James 4:13-17.

Challenge#3 Wisdom at funerals

One mission field is church services, particularly funeral services. It is one of the few remaining times when all walks of life may venture to a Christian service by invitation. And during the service, there is no embarrassment in talking about life after death and about judgment and/or assurance. Wisdom is found at funerals. That said, there are plenty of funerals which entertain foolish thinking. I wonder if you have thought about your funeral? 

Ecclesiastes 5:1-6:6 – Greed is idolatry

Discussion question:

What’s something in this life that you might like to save up for?

Read Ecclesiastes 5:1-6:6

Context

The premise of the Teacher’s lessons is that life under the sun is empty – misty. We do not improve this earth by our existence, and we do not create more joy than what God has already gifted to us to begin with. Life as gain is disappointing (to say the least) but life as a gift is where joy can be found. We do not orchestrate time and the best we can do under the sun is to enjoy our labour, to live in community and to learn to fear God. Wisdom is better than folly but both will return to dust in the end. Humans are no better off than animals under this same measure. We thank God each lesson for the greater Teacher who reveals eternity for us.

Chapters 1-4 have laid down the foundation for the rest of the book. We’ll hear things we’ve already heard in this chapters but the Teacher will explore them more deeply and include more wisdom for us to listen to and learn.

Observation

Structure

  • (5:1-7) Fear God.
  • (5:8-17) Forget money.
  • (5:18-6:6) God gives…

(5:1-7) Fear God.

“Guard your steps…” This has the sense of being watchful of how you proceed. Psalm 119:59, 101, 105. The wisdom to watch your feet will parallel the wisdom to watch our words in Verse 2.

“…when you go to the house of God.” The Temple is unique in all the world as the one place authorised to bring sacrifice to God. 1 Kings 7:12 use the phrase ‘house of God’ to mean Temple. Christians do not have a building that equals this because Jesus is the Temple and we are the Temple where God dwells. So, join the dots and work out when should a Christian guard their steps?

“Go near to listen rather than…” Proverbs 29:20; 18:13. A fool presumes to know what life is about and what everyone expects. A fool feels they need no education. A fool is not educated about what they do wrong. Many sinners will step foot in church and never believe that they need forgiveness. 

“God is in heaven and you are on earth…” Here is the distinction between our vision versus God’s. We live life with only knowledge of what happens under the sun but God is in heaven and has wisdom to teach us, if we would listen. This is why the Bible is so very, very important. General revelation (what we can observe and conclude from our senses and logic alone) is limited and does not teach us anything about God in real detail. But God has spoken to this world and our place is to listen to Him. Those who do not are rightly defined as foolish.

“A dream comes when there are many cares…” The meaning of Verse 3 is unclear except that the ‘dream’ is not positive. One might interpret the definition of ‘dream’ as an inspired answer or revelation from God but that doesn’t fit the context. Verse 7 uses the word ‘dreaming’ negatively. Verse 1 describes approaching the house of God in order to listen. Verse 3 has a parallel sense to it which matches the second half: “…many words mark the speech of a fool.” The verse, then, is about the fool with all his/her concerns under the sun when what they really ought to do is stop and listen to God who is in heaven. What do we know? The dream could be disturbed sleep due to the cares of the world. It could be wishful thinking or planning your way out of the world’s cares. NB: a good rule with scripture is that when a sentence is difficult to nail down, then look at the context and lean on that for your answer. I don’t see this as promoting the reading of dreams because of the context.

“…a vow to God…” This simply means a promise that is made especially in prayer.

“Do not let your mouth lead you into sin.” Guard your mouth as much as you guard your step.

“Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore fear God.” See above on dreaming. This is the conclusion: attempts to get out of strife in this world is foolishness – be still and know that God is God – fear Him. The fear is demonstrated by listening.

(5:8-17) Forget money.

“…do not be surprised…” What is described in Verses 8-9 and further is the power of money and the pyramid of success. Those at the top are benefitting from what is below. Do you think the bottom of the pyramid is filled with winners? Do you think that those at the top are innocent and pure? The Kingdom of God is the only exclusion to this logic – it defies logic like this – the least will be first and the first last!

“…wealth hoarded to the harm of its owners…” We are left to imagine why this is harmful. The hoarding implies no sharing and no good use for the wealth – see Verse 11b – its only use is to be looked at. It is not others who are hurt by the hoarding but the owner. 

“…or wealth lost through some misfortune…” The second misfortune is money that was intended to be used for the next generation but it is lost through financial misfortune.

“Everyone comes naked from their mother’s womb, and as everyone comes, so they depart.” You can’t take it with you so why live like money is the answer. The Teacher has outlined a number of ways that faith in money will ruin us: It creates oppression in the world (8-9); We lose sleep trying to accumulate it (10-12); We hope in it only to have it taken from us through misfortune (13-14). The only content person is the one who works for a living in order to eat and sleep (12a). Better to stop worshiping money.

(5:18-6:6) God gives…

“This is what I have observed to be good…” The Teacher makes some conclusions in this whole section.

“…this is their lot.” The conclusion embraces the limitation of our existence. We do not plan when to be born or when to die. Our existence is fleeting and we take as much out of life as we brought into it. But to eat, drink and find some satisfaction in what we do, rather than in the wealth we gather, is good. We may even sleep soundly for it rather than be troubled by dreams.

…when God gives…this is a gift of God…God keeps them occupied…” Godliness with contentment is great gain, says Paul to Timothy in 1 Tim 6:6. It is the life of the wise person who has approached God to listen to him rather than to pursue wealth – God may well have blessed a person like that with wealth. The money is not evil but the love of money is. Notice the grace of God to provide and it is in hands really.

“…occupied with gladness of heart.” A good phrase for contentment.

“…another evil…meaningless…a grievous evil.” The opposite of ‘good’? Verses 6:1-6 describe this grievous evil. It is better to not have experienced life at all than to have everything your heart desires and yet no joy in them – they die before they can enjoy it. Working in order to enjoy retirement – if that is the point of life – that is a tragedy. 

Suggested questions for running this study.

Q1. Discuss the content and meaning of verse 1 (5:1). How do Verses 2 to 7 expand on this?

Q2. How is life under the sun described in Verses 8-9?

Q3. What does the pursuit of wealth bring us? See 10-12; 13-14; 15-17.

Q4. What is the difference between the rich fool and the wealthy person blessed by God? (see 5:18-20 compared to 6:1-2). Read Luke 12:13-34 to remember the tragedy of the rich fool.

Meaning

Listen to God and stop pursuing the wealth of the earth. We brought nothing into this world and will take nothing out of it. The toil of life ought to do no more than give us food, drink and rest. Life and prosperity are a gift from God – a need to listen to him carefully and be thankful is our lot.

Application

Challenge#1 Listen to God – really.

Do you have an eagerness to listen to God through his word? He has spoken to us clearly and with a very rich resource for knowledge and life. How often it is that we ignore it, presume we have already learned enough from it, or think we know it when we really don’t know half of it! Let’s get rid of our apathy toward God’s word and act as though his word is life.

Challenge#2 To spend or not to spend

What is it that you are saving money for? It’s up to you what you do with your money but the Lord has given us more than enough warnings to consider what we do with it. This challenge is an opportunity to ponder where your heart is and to reflect on money wisely. Have you considered what happens once you’re gone?

Challenge#3 A world of oppression without wisdom.

Life as gain creates a pyramid of oppression where only the person on top is not oppressed and yet they are tortured by their own wealth through lack of sleep and the futility of losing it all – or the worry that they might! It is a disastrous view of life but this is the world we live in. Imagine if people were freed from this? The gospel gives people freedom from being slaves to money. God calls us to free people from this slavery. It begins with people listening to God – that’s the break in the cycle – to listen to God. Perhaps you are the mouthpiece of God to help somebody! (Luke 12:13-34)

Ecclesiastes 3-4 – Eternity in our hearts

Discussion question:

What is something that you hope for?

Read Ecclesiastes 3-4

Context

The Teacher is the King of Israel who has set out to test the fruit of life. What is it all about? Who wins in the end? He has done this by observing the world around him (Chapter 1) and the pursuit of pleasure (Chapter 2). His conclusion so far has been that God is the giver of everything and nothing that we do can be called new or forever ours. We do not create. We do not keep. But what this world cannot give us, God gives freely: wisdom and contentment.

Observation

Structure

  • Regarding time: 3:1-8 A time for everything and everything in its time.
  • Regarding humanity 3:9-22
    • 3:9-15 Humility lesson#1: Eternity in our hearts.
    • 3:16-17 God is the only righteous judge
    • 3:18-22 Humility lesson#2: No different to animals.
  • Regarding community 4:1-16
    • 4:1-3 Better off dead!?
    • 4:4-12 The relationship between toil and people
    • 4:13-16 Nobody ever comes out on top

Regarding time (3:1-8)

This well known poem which was famously set to music back in the 60s, can be seen with two lenses. Lens one is the rose-coloured type: how beautiful is the symmetry of life and how wise is it to recognise the time for this and the time for that. Wisdom helps us to identify which is which and be content with that. But this is not the correct lens to where.

Lens two is the one that reads this poem in the context of Ecclesiastes. What is the Teacher trying to teach us? Meaningless! Everything is misty!

God is sovereign over every time and we are not in control of any of it. Especially the time to die! No amount of toil will put us in control of these things. We are subject to the authority of God. Time is determined by God.

Regarding humanity (3:9-22) 9,15,18

3:9-15 Humility lesson#1: Eternity in our hearts.

“He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” These two clauses summarise Verses 9 to 14. Somehow, God has implanted in our minds the idea of forever, but we have no way of accessing this timeline. It is God’s. He owns it. We are here for a short while to toil and enjoy what beauty is given in its time. We enjoy the gift of life that God gives to us – for our time – and we are given the concept and wonder of eternity but only a temporary role in it. And what’s the point? So that we would learn to fear God.

“Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before;” See Ecclesiastes 6:10 and 1:9. There is nothing new under the sun. We are very constrained as humans.

“…and God will call the past to account.” This has some translation difficulties as you’ll see if you compare different versions. The NIV leads us to hear God as the judge of all events. But the ESV and others, ‘God seeks what has been driven away’ which sits parallel to the first part of Verse 15. That is, God brings about what has already been.

In one sense it doesn’t matter. The judgement of God becomes clear in the following verses and what Verse 15 proclaims is that God sits above the events of time.

3:16-17 God is the only righteous judge

“And I saw something else under the sun…” This refers to the realm of life in this world. The ‘under the sun’ phrase occurs 29 times in the book. 5 times are in Chapters 3 and 4.

“…wickedness was there…” To the Teacher, judgment and justice does not occur with righteousness in this world (under the sun) but wickedness is there.

“God will bring into judgment…” The Teacher believes in a time for judgment from God for all people. We will see in the next section that the Teacher does not know or declare when that will take place. Barry Webb suggests this may be similar to ‘setting eternity in our hearts’ with respect to time. Righteous judgment and justice will occur – but the details are not forthcoming.

3:18-22 Humility lesson#2: No different to animals.

“As for humans, God tests them so that they may see…” We have seen the humility of our power over time and events. And we’ve seen our humility under God as the only righteous judge. Now we will learn that, under the sun, there is no difference between humans and animals. All things being equal, we are no better off than the axolotl. 

“Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?” As we examine biology, who knows? This is the ‘under the sun’ point of view. Later, in 12:7, the Teacher will declare that our spirit returns to God who gave it. So, there is more to say than what the Teacher says in Verse 21 but external observation gives us no clue. Do animals have spirits? I remain agnostic. The word for spirit is interchangeable with breath. We need not put special significance on a rhetorical question.

“So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work…” Verse 22 caps off this chapter well. There is a time for humanity between ones birth and ones death. All of the toil under the sun is in the sovereign hands of God. Who knows but the Lord what comes after.

Regarding community 4:1-16

4:1-3 Better off dead!?

The Teacher describes the injustice that occurs under the sun and declares it as evil. Better than a dead person is one who never entered the world at all. The Teacher speaks wisdom and logic. Whether he feels depressed about it or not is unknown. Life on earth is full of unfairness. He simplifies people into one of two categories, you are either the oppressed or the oppressor. The notion of equity is absent in his view.

4:4-12 The relationship between toil and people

“…all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another.” This is quite stark isn’t it? What drives a person to success, according to the Teacher, is not self motivation or self improvement but the desire to be better than others. Envy is a hurtful motivation that wants another person to fail because they have what you want.

Verse 4 opens a series of observations about how humans relate with one another.

Verses 5-6: Firstly an idle person will fail, but a simple helping will suffice. The other extreme is to be too greedy – the effort is not worth it. Work because you must but don’t over do it!

Verses 7-8: The story of a single man who works and works but is never content. Who does he share the wealth with? Who does he share the toil with? Both of these problems are explored in the verses that follow.

Verses 9-10: Two people in business or partnership have one another’s backs. This is a good thing.

Verse 11: Regarding a marriage, this seems comfortable. (A hot water bottle is nice too).

Verse 12: In battle, teamwork is the better. Two is better than one and three is really good.

NB: Verses 11 and 12 are often joined together but I see no need to do this. The theme or the illustrations are different. When joined together, the inclination is to make the third cord God and so a marriage with God is strong. This is true but I don’t see this jumping out off the page.

4:13-16 Nobody ever comes out on top

These verses are tricky. We have the subject of a young person and a king. Verse 13 seems easy enough to grasp on its own. Then there seems to be a narrative about an upcoming ruler, the youth who rises from poverty and is followed by many. He seems like someone worth supporting, not this old foolish king who no longer heeds warning! But the reality is that this is a repeating narrative. Verse 16 says that there is a long history of youths who were elevated to king. And the story goes that this youth-become-king is eventually rejected as people are not pleased with them. This is the story of rise to power and the conclusion is: meaningless!

Suggested questions for running this study.

Q1. What is pleasing about the poem in Chapter 3 Verses 1-8? Is it a hopeful poem or a hopeless poem? Discuss.

Q2. Looking at Verses 9-15, what are all the things that God has done?

Q3. Verse 22 brings the chapter to a blunt conclusion. What is Chapter 3 teaching us about life under the sun? 

Q4. Look at the various wisdoms of Verses 4 to 12. What do they say about human relationships?

Q5.  There is mention of judgment in these chapters (see 3:17) but no certainty of when or how. There seems to be a time for everything under heaven but when is the time for righteous judgment? Revelation 20:11 onwards has an answer to that! But let’s turn to Mark 14:17-25. What injustice under the sun is referenced here? Compare Mark 14:21 with Ecclesiastes 4:3 – what is the irony of this comparison?

Meaning

Life under the sun is filled with toil and tears. A time for everything but all of it is outside the power of humanity. God ordains the years and everything that happens within them. God is greater than all of us and yet there is much injustice in this world. Thanks be to God that there is a time for judgment and the time has been allotted by God. Thanks also be to Christ who underwent the greatest injustice the world has ever seen or known and all so that we can be raised up with him at the end.

Application

Challenge#1 Responding to injustice

What does the gospel teach us about injustice? The most mistreated person in all of history must be God himself. Ecclesiastes reminds us that this life contains many accounts of oppression and injustice but the gospel reminds us that all justice will be served in the end and it will fall on the hands of the perfect and just God. There is a time for justice and the bible reminds us even to leave vengeance to God.

Challenge#2 What time is it?

There is a time for everything under the sun. Half of the things listed in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 are negative things. They are not given to us because of karma but simply because this is the time and the will of God. Not every day we live is a walk in the park. Often it rains. As God works in us, he reminds us that our hope is not for suffering to end quickly but that we will grow from it. Romans 5:3-5.

Challenge#3 What hope do you have?

When you encounter someone suffering depression or hopelessness, is there any wisdom from Ecclesiastes 3 and 4 that you can see useful? One might talk about the changing times and that these moments pass. One might talk about the benefit of friends, that if someone falls down, there are others to help them up. Or we might talk about the expectation of injustice in this world – but that there is an invitation by God to look to the kingdom of God for a new future. Revelation 20:11:21:5