Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 20 Number 3 March 2018
Page 5

A Good Miscarriage?

Denny PetrilloIn one of the most intriguing passages in Ecclesiastes, Solomon maintained that, under certain conditions, it would have been better to have been born dead (6:3). This is a most startling statement. We value life. We consider existence a precious gift. So, what was Solomon talking about, and to whom was he saying that it would have been better for him to have been born dead?

First, Solomon stated that a miscarriage is better than a man who fails to appreciate his family. In his illustration, a man is blessed with “a hundred children” (6:3). Yet, he is not satisfied. How can one not be satisfied with such a large “quiver” full of children (Psalm 127:3-5)? Since children are a blessing from God (Psalm 113:9), this man is richly blessed. Yet, if such a man cannot appreciate this blessing, he would have been better off being miscarried.

Second, Solomon stated that a miscarriage is better than a man who fails to appreciate the years of his life. Again, using hyperbole, he said that if the man should live “a thousand times twice” (6:6), but fails to enjoy them, he is better off dead. Far too often we don’t enjoy life. Rather, we let cares and worries rob us of daily joy. Those days turn to months, which turn to years. Before long, it is a lifetime of discontent.

Third, Solomon stated that a miscarriage is better than a man who fails to appreciate material blessings. Paul stated that we should be content with what we have, even if we have very little (1 Timothy 6:8; Philippians 4:11, 12). In contrast, this man has much, being enriched with “good things” (6:3, 6). However, he fails to enjoy those good things. Again, Paul noted that it is God who “richly supplies us with all things to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17). We must learn to be satisfied. If we’re not, Solomon would say it would have been better off if we had never been born.

Is it good that you’re alive? Let us all learn to enjoy our families, our years of life and our material blessings. Most importantly, for us on this side of the cross, let us “rejoice in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4).


Numerical & Spiritual
Growth Factors

Ronald D. ReevesIn recent years, brethren have dedicated themselves to a better understanding of the things that positively influence church growth. A review of the research material provided in conjunction with such efforts encourages us to develop and apply the following.

  1. Faithfulness in daily Christian living: Members are known for their stand for good as they lead their families in godly service.
  2. Strong dedication to the cause of Christ. Members exhibit a real personal commitment in spiritual efforts.
  3. Energetic activity in the kingdom of God. Members are not content to passively follow a few who do most of the work.
  4. Genuine personal spiritual growth. Members have an abiding hunger and thirst for righteousness.
  5. Sacrificial Christian living. Members do not hesitate to make personal sacrifices for the cause of Christ.
  6. Love of the New Testament church. Members care for the church as they care for their personal family.
  7. Love for the souls of men. Social and ethnic concerns are not allowed as barriers to seeking and saving the lost.

These seven traits will greatly assist us as we genuinely fight the good fight of faith (2 Timothy 4:7). May we grow in each of these areas.

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