Ecclesiastes 5 - Fear God, the Vanity of Wealth

Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. For a dream comes with much business, and a fool's voice with many words.
Wow, there's a lot of wisdom in this one paragraph. Where was this years ago when I was swept away in big dreams and the proclamation of doing big things for God. Of course, it was right here, but I was too busy dreaming and proclaiming to listen to it. Ah, irony. Solomon cautions us about speaking rashly - "God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few." Wisdom comes with age and experience, and a fair amount of pain as you do things you'll later regret.

I see this at work in others as they speak and proclaim and fail to hear God. To those around them, it's clear, but they are too busy dreaming to hear. It breaks my heart sometimes. How do you break through to those who "do not know that they are doing evil"?

Ecclesiastes 5:4-7 - Wow. Seriously, wow. I need to do a family devo on this section. Some really good stuff to learn. I remember being taught that disciples dream big, plan big and do great things for God. To do anything less is to dishonor Him. Solomon would disagree - "For when dreams increase and words grow many, there is vanity; but God is the one you must fear."

Ecclesiastes 5:13-14 - "There is a grievous evil that I have seen under the sun: riches were kept by their owner to his hurt, and those riches were lost in a bad venture." How appropriate for today as the wealthy scratch for more and to prevent from loosing their riches while their folly trickles down and hurts those who had no part in it.

Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 - So work and find enjoyment in it. Why? Because it is your lot, God has made you for this. It's a gift of God. Then, you "will not much remember the days of [your] life because God keeps [you] occupied with joy in [your] heart."

Life is not about chasing big dreams, making big plans and accomplishing great things. God has given us a small place to fill, we are to work to fill it. And in this is the Joy that eludes so many, including me, far too often.

I needed to hear this.

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Dude, this is so well put. It is amazing how we can be so sidetracked by collisions of concepts that are so very well intended, but so far from what is really being said in the WORD. This is a brilliant example and your way of stating it is fantastic. We were told in the past that our dreams MUST be having a world impact like Jesus did, and that the concept of Jesus not being the ideal, but the standard pushes us into elevating our desires to be perfect in all things. This in truth builds a wall of falsetto lifestyles based on performance; also, living to look perfect creates opportunities of Pride and Deceitfulness. Our lives are to be simple, and peaceful, and to simply be merciful to each other as we live our lives. TO be Holy as God is Holy is to not partake in what this world has to offer. This world offers darkness, covetousness, false testimony, fornication, theft, idolatry, self promotion, preoccupation, disrespecting the wise, and unfaithfulness. These are the things that God has asked us to avoid from the beginning. Holiness is to live mercifully, with respect for each other in all ways, and to love those who hate us. Living Holy is to embrace purity, to revel in creation, and to enjoy each others company. Kindness, compassion, compensation, creativity...that is greatness, that is what our big dreams should be, to live simply and Holy. This is the sum of the bible. No?

Hey Paul, good to hear from you again. To live simple and Holy, yes, that's what we are to be. I so needed this. As I read it, it felt like a big sigh of relief. I came to read Ecclesiastes looking for answers to what the point was, and the message is to work hard and live simply and walk with God. That's it.

And in that, not in constant striving for greater, is joy.

Nice post Doug! I liked this:

"Wisdom comes with age and experience, and a fair amount of pain as you do things you'll later regret."

I seem to have the age and experience, but often think that I rarely learn anything without pain.



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  • Nice post Doug! I liked this: "Wisdom comes with age and experience, and a fair amount of pain as you do things you'll later regret." I seem to have the age and experience, but often think that I rarely learn anything ...

  • Hey Paul, good to hear from you again. To live simple and Holy, yes, that's what we are to be. I so needed this. As I read it, it felt like a big sigh of relief. I came to read Ecclesiastes looking for answers to wha...

  • Dude, this is so well put. It is amazing how we can be so sidetracked by collisions of concepts that are so very well intended, but so far from what is really being said in the WORD. This is a brilliant example and you...

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