Oppressed and the Oppressors
It is interesting to see that this struggle between the under privilege and the privilege classes, between the haves and the have not, is not just evident in modern history, but it is old as human history. It may be a feudalistic society in ancient times, but still there is the struggle between “oppressed” and the “oppressors.”
Solomon saw this and wrote his observation. “Again, I observed all the oppression that takes place under the sun. I saw the tears of the oppressed, with no one to comfort them. The oppressors have great power, and their victims are helpless. 2 So I concluded that the dead are better off than the living. 3 But most fortunate of all are those who are not yet born. For they have not seen all the evil that is done under the sun” (NLT).
There are oppression in various levels in our society: in family, religion, workplace, government and foreign powers etc. This is the point of verse 1. While oppression reigns, the dead are better off than the living. Those who have died are no longer mistreated and abused by the others according to verse 2. Solomon shows us a picture of some of the outrageous violence that takes place upon this earth. He feels the pain of those who have no one to comfort them, captives by their oppressors. We often hear some stories how some overseas domestic workers or employees were being abused, oppressed by their powerful employers.
These people work overseas so that they can help their families. They were willing to suffer the loneliness of being away from families- that is difficult enough, but to experience the cruelty of their powerful employer is terrible, beyond words to describe.
That is why Solomon said and perhaps he was exaggerating -- that those who were not born were fortunate enough, and much better than those who are alive. Why? Because they have never witnessed the bad things that happen in the world. Solomon the preacher tells us like it is.
So, what do we do as living creatures?
First, we must realise that as long as we are in this world, there is unfairness and injustices because of sin.
Secondly, Christ is the only answer.
Those who have accepted the claims of Christ as the Son of God, Saviour, and Lord of life and who powerfully claim “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6) will experience peace and joy which the world can never give.
We do not have the power to change people. What is society? It is composed of each individual person. To change society, one individual must change first. The cross of Christ is the starting point and it can be the turning point of each individual person who can begin changing society.
Is this possible? Yes, it did to me on Feb. 24 1963, because someone was bold enough to invite me back to church and “there” I heard the Gospel of Christ that changed my life. The Bible says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new” (2 Cor. 5:17).
Why don’t you reach out your hands and take hold of the claims of Christ? It is all by grace and by grace alone. Remember what Hebrews 9:27 says, “…it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgement.” Please consider, the words of Christ, you have nothing to lose.