Most of the verses that spoke to me today were in Chapter 5.
v1-2 As you enter the house of God, keep your ears open and your mouth shut. It is evil to make mindless offerings to God. Don’t make rash promises, and don’t be hasty in bringing matters before God. After all, God is in heaven, and you are here on earth. So let your words be few.
I love that last part in particular. Who do we think we are? We need to remember that God is God, and we are not. Maybe, just maybe, we should sit and listen and let Him do the talking once in awhile!
v4-6 When you make a promise to God, don’t delay in following through, for God takes no pleasure in fools. Keep all the promises you make to him.It is better to say nothing than to make a promise and not keep it. Don’t let your mouth make you sin. And don’t defend yourself by telling the Temple messenger that the promise you made was a mistake. That would make God angry, and he might wipe out everything you have achieved.
If the phrase "think before you speak" is true, "think before you promise God" even more so! We've all heard people make empty promises to us that you know they have no intention of keeping. God knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, whether or not we mean what we say and if we have any intention on following through on our promises. He cannot be mocked.
v10-11 Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness! The more you have, the more people come to help you spend it. So what good is wealth—except perhaps to watch it slip through your fingers!
So true! Wealth does not bring true happiness. Of course, it can buy stuff that brings fleeting happiness, but it is never a source of true joy.
v18-20 Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life. And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—this is indeed a gift from God. God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past.
Though God never promises material wealth on this earth, He does want us to derive pleasure from the good things this life has to offer, and the good things He brings into our lives. And there always are good things, if you look for them!
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Ecclesiastes 9-12