Wisdom of Marion Column Vol 1.28 (Ecclesiastes 5:1-20)

by | May 22, 2011 | Study of Ecclesiastes, Wisdom From Kammbia Column | 0 comments

5th Study: Ecclesiastes 5:1-20

I just wanted to let everyone that the schedule for study I posted a few weeks{Wisdom of Marion Column Vol 1.24} back has been changed.  There is so much rich material to cover in Ecclesiastes that I will go one chapter at a time until the end of the study.

In the first seven verses of Chapter 5, Solomon gives the reader a couple of warnings.

“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.”

{Ecclesiastes 5:2 ESV}

“When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it, for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow. It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. Let not your mouth lead you into sin, and do not say before the messenger that it was a mistake.”

{Ecclesiastes 5:4-6 ESV}

Wow!  Solomon is not playing around with those warnings. Basically he is saying that one should be cautious with their tongue in the house of God (5:1-3) and that if you make a vow (or promise) to God you must fulfill it (5:4-7).

Let me start with looking at Verse 2.

We live in a society that everyone wants to talk.  We are in the Age of Communication.  We need to express ourselves, share our feelings, talks about dreams and desires as well as our hurts and unhappiness.

Unfortunately, there is a downside to all this talk in our society. We have lost some wisdom on when to speak and when not to speak. You can blame Phil Donahue, Oprah, Dr. Phil, or even Rikki Lake or Jerry Springer…but let’s face it, we in the Age of Communication and we talk too much.

Solomon admonishes us that we can not be talking all the time when we are in the House of God.  God knows exactly what we want and we need all of the time.  And talking or expressing ourselves…we can end up saying something that we might regret.

Pastor Meyers writes this:

Do you always have something to say? Do you ever listen to people? Or do you just wait for an opportunity to say something always formulating in your mind what you will say without listening?

For some people, going to church is like going to an ecclesiastical home improvement warehouse. They just love to shop for lumber and it’s always in someone else’s eye.

Almost the entire substance of church gossip—foolish speech–can be reduced to hasty, uncharitable judgments against other people in the church. No matter how much you powder up your tale-bearing with the aromatic assurances of pious and holy motivations, to God it smells like the speech of a fool.

Remember your calling. Remember your place. It is not your station in life to pass judgment on everyone else in your church. Some people think their own spirituality is heightened and elevated according to how well and how often they point out the faults of others, but the Bible indicates the opposite is true. Rather, spirituality is measured according to your ability to restore an offender. {pp.111-113}

God takes the words we say very seriously and we as Christians must be careful with our words even though we live in a society that wants to talk all the time.

Now with verses four through six, Solomon warns us about making a vow (or promise) to God.  And if we do make a vow, we better be ready to fulfill it to God.

I must admit I’ve always had a hard time with promises. My father, Marion, used to tell me as a child he would come and get on the weekends so we could spend some time together.  I’d always looked forward to Fridays but I knew he was coming to get me.  Well, I would finally hear from him on that Sunday saying he got tied up at work or some other excuse and he’d promise to come get me the following weekend. And then next weekend would arrive and the same result would happen.  It went on for several years in my childhood and from that experience I have been always leery of promise-making and refused to make promises to other people as well.

Well, God takes our vows to Him seriously and in verse 5, Solomon says it is better to not vow than vow and not fulfill it.  Again, we must be careful with what we say.

The second half of Ecclesiastes (5:8-20) deals with Solomon giving us warning about the vaporous nature of wealth.

I want to focus on verse 10:

“He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity” {ESV}

Translation: If you love money you will never have enough.

Pastor Meyers writes this:

Human desire always outruns acquisitions, no matter how large the acquisitions may be. It always amazes me how people that are quite wealthy according even to middle-class standards nevertheless complain about not having enough.

Money is like seawater; the more a man drinks the more thirsty he becomes. Whether or not you will be content does not have as much to do with how much we have as it often does with how you deal with what you have been given.

The problem in our country right now is that our expectations are so heightened that we come to expect more than we can ever hope to acquire. Thus, we constantly live unsatisfied lives.  {pp.120}

Those last few paragraphs hit home for me.  I’ve been in the mortgage business since 2002 and most of those years I was a loan officer.  And I chased the money hoping the next commission check would make me happy and satisfied.

It didn’t.

I have the battle scars of the industry to look back on now.  Fired twice, laid off another time and my first year as a loan officer….I almost went broke.

I know it has been God’s grace that has keep me going after 9 years in the mortgage business.  Oddly enough, I became a Christian in 2003 and it seems like I’ve had more money troubles since that time.  I’ve always kept a few dollars back and live frugally before I came Christian. And I must admit that year went I almost went broke it shook my faith.  I wanted my old lifestyle back.

Thanks to God’s grace, our security should rest in Him not money or possessions.  I hope we Americans truly begin to understand that money can come and go easily but our relationships with God and people must be the foundation to live in true contentment and peace.

See you next week with Ecclesiastes 6!

Here are a couple of questions for you think about from this study:

1) Since we live in the age of talk, how we can learn to be careful with words especially amongst other Christians?

2) Is it possible to find contentment in modern American culture or will we be forever on the treadmill trying to keep up with Joneses and Johnsons?


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Marion Hill