Today’s Scrip-Bit 31 May 2013 Ecclesiastes 4:2

Ecclesiastes 4:2.    Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive.
Oh Friends, it’s Friday… But a somewhat subdued one, because when I got up earlier on, I saw the message light on the phone blinking, and I wondered if it was really a message or just the phone malfunctioning as it sometimes does.
You can imagine my concern, since I’d gone to bed late and there had been no calls up to that time, and calls late at night are usually harbingers of bad news.
And I had a second sense when I checked the message and heard this small, sad voice with its lilting British accent asking us to call when we received it. There was only one conclusion to be drawn from that; my wife’s Aunt, Aunt Ivey, had finally gone home to be with the Lord from over the pond in England. 
That supposition unfortunately turned out to be true. I believe we can change that last sentence though, and say fortunately, since she had been suffering for sometime with mankind’s dreaded scourge, cancer.
I spoke to her several times on the phone, but only met her once, however from the little I saw, and what I heard from others, she was one of the sweetest, dearest persons you could ever find; a genuine Christian, thoughtful and kind, raising several children, none of which belonged to her.
She reminds me of my mother, Molly, and my mother-in-law, Enid, women who all had tough lives, but never allowed the dirtiness and evil of the world to affect their pleasant, positive outlook on life.
Aunt Ivey, you’ll certainly be missed a whole lot by all those whom your life touched. Your  LOVING-kindness won’t ever be forgotten. And I know that right now you are talking with the Saviour, and He’s embracing you and saying, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant! Welcome home!’ May you rest in peace with Him forever.
Ah mih people, though we know that we all must go the way of the grave at some time, it still brings sadness to our souls. But those of us left behind cannot afford to grieve too long or too intensely, because there is still much work left behind for us to do, by those saints who’ve gone on before us.
So on this Friday, the last day in May 2013, let’s chant our Friday Chant to put the right perspective in our souls for this weekend. ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through.
Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’
Now please pay serious attention to what we just chanted Friends, because in the long run it can be the deciding factor in our fate, between eternal life and eternal death.
And no, I didn’t go looking for a Bit on death, that’s where I was guided. But before we get to it, let’s look at what brought Cousin Sol to that unusual conclusion.
He opens the chapter, oppressions increase vanity, by saying: ‘So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side (at the hand) of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.’ (Eccl.4:1)
Oh my brethren, Cousin Sol saw so much oppression in the world that he began to believe that the oppressed would truly be better off dead. Thus he declares in our Bit: ‘Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive.’
It’s a challenging statement, but it does have some sense of logic to it. Why stay here on this evil, ungodly earth, oppressed, dispossessed and with no comforter, when you could be living a much better life in heaven with the Lord, your comforter and Saviour?
Bruh Paul struggled with the same question. He felt like he would much prefer to be with Christ in heaven, but he had work to do down here.
And Cousin Sol continues in the same vein: ‘Yea, better is he than both they, which hath not yet been, who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.’ (Eccl.4:3)
And sadly my people, we can still voice the same opinion today, thousands of years later, because the oppression of mankind is at an all time high. I don’t know if man’s inhumanity to his fellow man has ever been this gross, especially when we’re supposed to be living in the most enlightened times ever.
And if the oppressed choose death over life, we can’t really fault them because many of us in their positions would probably feel and do likewise.
And we’ll conclude with some appropriate scripture from Job, where he bewails the day of his birth. ‘There the wicked cease from troubling; and there the weary be at rest. There the prisoners rest together; they hear not the voice of the oppressor. The small and great are there; and the servant is free from his master.
Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, and life unto the bitter in soul; Which long for death, but it cometh not; and dig for it more than for hid treasures; Which rejoice exceedingly, and are glad, when they can find the grave?’ (Job 3:17-22)
Oh Friends, none of us really know the answers to those questions posed by Job, but of one thing we’re very sure; when this earthly life is over, we shall all be in a better place, with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, which means we can handle anything meted out to us here on earth with absolute confidence, for He has faithfully promised to look after us down here, then LOVINGLY receive us to Himself when we shuffle off this mortal coil.
There can be no better promise, no better ending than that! Much LOVE!
…O death…where is thy sting…O grave…where is thy victory… (1 Cor.15:55) 

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