Ecclesiastes 5

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Swearing an oath to God is not to be taken lightly, God doesn’t require this sort of thing from us, but if we opt to do it than it shall be binding between us and God, and a sin not to follow through and keep it. (Deut 23:21-23, Num 30:2). Knowing this importance of a pact made like this with the Lord, we should not do so lightly.

“God, if you’d just grant me ____ I’ll give you ______.” Or
“Lord, if you help me with this one thing _____ I promise I’ll never _______ again.”

How many times did I just throw prayers out there like that as a kid, or even as an adult, that I attached minimal importance to remembering? Instead just brushing off those that were answered as good luck, not divine intervention. How often does God get the glory for the blessing He provides in our lives? And how often did I keep my word for whatever I agreed to do?

Verse 8 reminds me of the illustration of the small fish being eaten by a bigger fish, with an even bigger fish about to eat it. There is always a bigger fish, and here we see that the various levels of hierarchal society as victim to the tier higher, the corrupt being victimized by the higher corrupt, and so on. We also see how material goods are never enough to satisfy, they simply increase our desire for them (v10). And the concept of ‘we can’t take it with us’ (v15). The only true satisfaction we will find is not in this world, and not with the things of this world. The only true justice we will find is not in the laws of men, but of the laws of God our Father, and His divine and righteous judgement.

When we sinned, life became hard for humankind. We now have to “toil in the fields, in sorrow” (Gen 3:17-19), yet God has not punished us completely in this, we have been given the ability to enjoy the fruits of that labour as a gift of God. God has not left us in a state where everything is done in futility when we know Him. I need to be content and satisfied with all that God provides to me in my life. This is both the good and the bad that may happen, I need to trust that God wants only the best for me and attempt to take it all in stride, and continue to trust in Him.

Ecclesiastes 5:1-20

1 Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil. 2 Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few. 3 For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words. 4 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. 5 Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. 6 Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands? 7 For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God. 8 If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they.  9 Moreover the profit of the earth is for all: the king himself is served by the field. 10 He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.  11 When goods increase, they are increased that eat them: and what good is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes? 12 The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep. 13 There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt. 14 But those riches perish by evil travail: and he begetteth a son, and there is nothing in his hand. 15 As he came forth of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand. 16 And this also is a sore evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go: and what profit hath he that hath laboured for the wind? 17 All his days also he eateth in darkness, and he hath much sorrow and wrath with his sickness.
18 Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion. 19 Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God. 20 For he shall not much remember the days of his life; because God answereth him in the joy of his heart.

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