Verse 1 – Walk prudently when you go to the house of God, and draw near to hear rather than to give sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they do evil.
Verse 2 – Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; therefore let your words be few.
We check our attitude before entering the house of God. Are we willing to listen rather than interrupt? Do we give offerings out of trying to impress God? Watch when making a vow because you might not be able to keep your end of what was promised.
Verse 3 – For a dream comes through much activity, and a fool’s voice is known by his many words.
Verse 4 – When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; for He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed.
Verse 5 – It is better not to vow than to vow and not pay.
Solomon warns against making vows (promises) to God. Have you ever said to God, “If you get me out of this I will never do …again?” Then after a while you forget what you have promised. How about promises that you’ve made to others, do you keep that promise? If you can’t then don’t make it.
Verse 6 – Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin, nor say before the messenger of God that it was an error. Why should God be angry at your excuse and destroy the work of your hands?
Verse 7 – For in the multitude of dreams and many words there is also vanity. But fear God.
Verse 8 – If you see the oppression of the poor, and the violent perversion of justice and righteousness in province, do not marvel at the matter; for high official watches over high official, and higher officials are over them.
Verse 9 – Moreover the profit of the land is for all; the king himself is served from the field.
Again, these verses are political. Solomon tells us to not be surprised at corruption in government. So should we abandon the idea of government? No, God is the highest authority and watches over all.
Verse 10 – He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity.
Verse 11 – When goods increase, they increase who eat them; so what profit have the owners except to see them with their eyes?
Isn’t it funny that we always want more than what we have? Solomon observed that those who had an obsession for money, it never brought them true happiness. If we try to create happiness by accumulating wealth, you will never have enough. Wealth from God has to have an assignment.
Verse 12 – The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eats little or much; but the abundance of the rich will not permit him to sleep.
Verse 13 – There is severe evil which I have seen under the sun; riches kept for their owner to his hurt.
Verse 14 – But those riches perish through misfortune; when he begets a son, there is nothing in his hand.
Verse 15 – As he came from his mother’s womb, naked shall he return, to go as he came; and he shall take nothing from his labor which he may carry away in his hand.
Verse 16 – And this also is a severe evil, that just exactly as he came, so shall he go. And what profit has he who has labored for the wind?
Solomon makes it sound like working hard in life to have a house over our head or have any accumulation of wealth is all for nothing. No, we do not take anything out of this world when we leave, but the point of living is to whom did you do it all for? Did you acquire wealth to help others, or did you close a blind eye to those around you?
Verse 17 – All his days he also eats in darkness, and he has much sorrow and sickness and danger.
Verse 18 – Here is what I have seen: It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage.
Verse 19 – As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor – this is the gift of God.
Verse 20 – For he will not dwell unduly on the days of his life, because God keeps him busy with the joy of his heart.
Are you satisfied with what you have? Whether it is little or much, we should look at it with the right perspective. Our possessions are not the source of our joy. I’ve seen people lose everything they owned through floods and fires, but when they speak, they say they are thankful for their lives. Everything we have, we have because God gave it to us. When we keep a humble heart before God, it will be His good pleasure to give us all good things that pertains to life. He knows what you have need of before you ask, but Jesus said, “You have not, because you do not ask” (James 4:2). There’s a caution in that verse though: Ask yourself why you ask for it – motive.