The Evils of Oppression

Carl Hubbs, 81, professor of biology emeritus at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, drew a prolonged ovation when he accepted an award in 1975 from the San Diego Press Club. “I really don’t know why I’m receiving this,” he said apologetically. “All I’ve ever d … More


No one can comfort those who suffer (vv. 1-3). Some people are lazy while others are workaholics. The lazy person sees no purpose in dashing around trying to be successful so folds his hands and does nothing. On the other hand, the workaholic is often motivated by inappropriate incentives.

1. He is motivated by envy (vv. 4-6). The workaholic is often driven by envy, greed and a constant desire to stay ahead of everyone else. What he should do is take time to enjoy the gifts God has given and realize that it is God who gives the rewards and not us.

2. He is motivated by selfish greed (vv. 7-12). Greed is covetousness characterized by a man’s having no end to his toil, not being content with his wealth nor willing to share it with anyone. In contrast, Solomon gives several advantages that come from sharing:

(a) Better profit (v. 9).

(b) Help in time of difficulty (v. 10).

(c) Comfort in time of need (v. 11).

(d) Protection in time of danger (v. 12).

3. He is motivated by the desire for advancement and prestige (vv. 13-16). Advancement or getting to the top is meaningless. Position, popularity and prestige are poor goals for a life’s work. Recognition for accomplishments are soon forgotten. If you have a position, someone else is going to have it someday and you will be forgotten. How much better it is to seek God’s approval. His love never changes.


I am not here on earth to serve myself but to serve God and others. I should never isolate myself and try to go it alone.

Ecclesiastes 4:1-16 (English Standard Version)

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