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Thursday, September 1, 2011

MAN AND BEAST: There is no difference



"...there is no advantage for man over beast,

for all is vanity."

(Ecclesiastes 3:19)


I once thought "Solomon was having a bad day when he wrote that!"  Well, looking back it actually had nothing to do with being in a bad mood on a particular day.  Solomon actually was challenging men to fear God (3:14).  Men are not going to fear God without a proper perspective of themselves.  Note these important truths.


1) Death is the common denominator for both man and beast.  Actually, this is what Solomon was saying when he noted "there is no difference."  Before that statement he said "for the fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same.  As the one dies so dies the other" (3:19).  The prospect of death should humble every person.  The Hebrew writer noted that " is appointed for men to die once, and after this comes judgment" (Heb. 9:27).  We are not going to be able to escape the grave (unless Jesus comes first). So, we will join the beast in death.


2) Men must not have an inflated view of themselves.  Pride and arrogance lead to many sins.  When we get to thinking that we are most important we remove God from our lives.  This is why God "tests us" with earthly trials (Jas. 1:2-5) and reminds us that "we are but dust" (Ps. 103:14; Gen. 3:19; Ecc. 3:20; 12:7).  Notice carefully what Solomon says: "I said to myself concerning the sons of men, 'God has tested them in order for them to see that they are but beasts'" (3:18).  Is it working?  Are we seeing what God wants us to see?  Hopefully God's tests have awakened us to the fact that we are totally dependent upon God.


--Denny Petrillo


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