Scriptures

Ecclesiastes 5

Introduction

‘Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong. Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. A dream comes when there are many cares, and many words mark the speech of a fool.’ Ecclesiastes 5:1-3

Fulfil Your Vow to God

We must be careful when we’re in the presence of God and our behaviour in His presence must be respectful, Isaiah 6:5 / Romans 12:1-2. We must always be careful to listen to what God has to say and then do it, 1 Samuel 15:22 / James 1:22-25. The Bible is God’s Word and we should study to hear what God has to say to us, Acts 17:11.

Fools don’t understand that the way they live their lives is contrary to the way God says we should live our lives. Even in the religious world, traditions can easily become more important than that what God actually requires, Mark 7:1-9.

Beware of anyone who speaks too much, James 1:19 / James 1:26 / James 2:1-10, they often end up speaking about things they don’t know nothing about, tell lies and they make promises they cannot keep. There’s nothing wrong with having dreams and ambitions, but we must be willing to work hard to achieve them.

‘When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfil it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfil your vow. It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfil it. Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger, ‘My vow was a mistake.’ Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands? Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore, fear God.’ Ecclesiastes 5:4-7

Whenever anyone made a voluntarily vow to God, it was a self-imposed vow which according to law could not be broken, Deuteronomy 23:21-23. If anyone didn’t keep that vow, it was a sin, simply because they promised to keep it but didn’t fulfil it. Making vows to God are serious and they can be helpful for setting our own personal spiritual goals, as long as the result is glorifying God.

We must be careful that our mouths don’t lead us into sin, in other words, if we make a vow to God but have no intention of fulfilling that vow, this is sinful.

The reference to the ‘messenger’ is probably a reference to the priest, Malachi 2:7, and so, when anyone makes a vow to anyone who represents God must keep that vow, otherwise God will become angry with them. Causing God to become angry with us is a serious sin because anyone who makes a vow to God and doesn’t fulfil that vow is basically making a mockery out of God, Galatians 6:7 / James 4:4.

Riches Are Meaningless

‘If you see the poor oppressed in a district, and justice and rights denied, do not be surprised at such things; for one official is eyed by a higher one, and over them both are others higher still. The increase from the land is taken by all; the king himself profits from the fields.’ Ecclesiastes 5:8-9

Even in today’s world there is a lot of corruption by those who choose to oppress the people. This corruption usually begins at the top and filters down to others. All of them will have to give an account to God for their actions, Romans 14:12.

Everyone is dependent upon farmers and the produce they harvest from the land and it should be in everyone’s interest not to oppress the farmers. The result in doing so is that everyone will eventually suffer because of it.

‘Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless. As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owners except to feast their eyes on them? The sleep of a labourer is sweet, whether they eat little or much, but as for the rich, their abundance permits them no sleep.’ Ecclesiastes 5:10-12

The more riches people have, the more they want, although there is nothing wrong with being wealthy, the problem comes when they are never satisfied and continually want more, Luke 12:15 / 1 Timothy 6:10. The whole purpose of being wealthy should be to help others who are less fortunate than ourselves, Acts 20:34, because with much wealth comes much responsibility.

When people are so focused on their wealth, they aren’t focused on God and they often forget about those around them who have nothing, 1 Timothy 6:6-10 / 1 Timothy 6:17.

Notice also that one other problem from being rich is that they often have to rely on other people to take care of their wealth, and the wealth of those around them, hence they have a lack of sleep.

‘I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owners, or wealth lost through some misfortune, so that when they have children there is nothing left for them to inherit. Everyone comes naked from their mother’s womb, and as everyone comes, so they depart. They take nothing from their toil that they can carry in their hands. This too is a grievous evil: As everyone comes, so they depart, and what do they gain, since they toil for the wind? All their days they eat in darkness, with great frustration, affliction and anger.’ Ecclesiastes 5:13-17

Hoarding is a problem for some people, they just keep everything and can’t bear the thought of letting anything go, even though they don’t need it, Ecclesiastes 2:21 / Ecclesiastes 3:16 / Ecclesiastes 4:13. Hoarders are misfortunate because they often make bad business decisions and instead of them gaining more, they lost it all and what was left was given to their son.

Hoarding is foolish because it gives the idea that everyone should work for their themselves. In this case, the son wouldn’t have any right to his inheritance, he is responsible for own livelihood.

The point is that anyone who has a lot, should use this to bless others with because they can’t take it with them when they die, John 13:17. We all know that God is a giver and if we claim to be like God, we should do likewise, James 1:27.

‘This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labour under the sun during the few days of life God has given them for this is their lot. Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.’ Ecclesiastes 5:18-20

There’s something satisfying about growing your produce in your garden and then eating them. There’s also a sense of achievement and enjoyment when we work hard to be able to put food on the table, 2 Thessalonians 3:6-10.

Here Solomon tells us about those who are only interested in hoarding things for themselves, in order for them to get wealthier. We need to be careful that in doing so, we don’t neglect others in the process, Luke 12:13-21 / Acts 20:34. God only promises blessings to those who are willing to take the time to work for others, John 13:17.

Go To Ecclesiastes 6

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."

Colossians 3:12

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