Ecclesiastes 5 and 6
1 Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. 2 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. 3For a dream comes with much business, and a fool’s voice with many words.
4When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it, for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow. 5It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. 6Let not your mouth lead you into sin, and do not say before the messenger that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry at your voice and destroy the work of your hands? 7For when dreams increase and words grow many, there is vanity; but God is the one you must fear.
The Vanity of Wealth and Honor
8If you see in a province the oppression of the poor and the violation of justice and righteousness, do not be amazed at the matter, for the high official is watched by a higher, and there are yet higher ones over them. 9But this is gain for a land in every way: a king committed to cultivated fields.
10He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity. 11When goods increase, they increase who eat them, and what advantage has their owner but to see them with his eyes? 12Sweet is the sleep of a laborer, whether he eats little or much, but the full stomach of the rich will not let him sleep.
13There is a grievous evil that I have seen under the sun: riches were kept by their owner to his hurt, 14and those riches were lost in a bad venture. And he is father of a son, but he has nothing in his hand. 15As he came from his mother’s womb he shall go again, naked as he came, and shall take nothing for his toil that he may carry away in his hand. 16This also is a grievous evil: just as he came, so shall he go, and what gain is there to him who toils for the wind? 17Moreover, all his days he eats in darkness in much vexation and sickness and anger.
18Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot. 19Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God. 20For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart.
1There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, and it lies heavy on mankind: 2a man to whom God gives wealth, possessions, and honor, so that he lacks nothing of all that he desires, yet God does not give him power to enjoy them, but a stranger enjoys them. This is vanity; it is a grievous evil. 3If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with life’s good things, and he also has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he. 4For it comes in vanity and goes in darkness, and in darkness its name is covered. 5Moreover, it has not seen the sun or known anything, yet it finds rest rather than he. 6Even though he should live a thousand years twice over, yet enjoy no good—do not all go to the one place?
7All the toil of man is for his mouth, yet his appetite is not satisfied. 8For what advantage has the wise man over the fool? And what does the poor man have who knows how to conduct himself before the living? 9Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the appetite: this also is vanity and a striving after wind.
10Whatever has come to be has already been named, and it is known what man is, and that he is not able to dispute with one stronger than he. 11The more words, the more vanity, and what is the advantage to man? 12For who knows what is good for man while he lives the few days of his vain life, which he passes like a shadow? For who can tell man what will be after him under the sun?
I. SLOW YOUR ROLL
A. When life flows backwards don’t get smart with God.
B. God owes us no answers. (Job 38-41)
C. God has been good enough to give us many answers through His Word.
II. NOT WHAT WE WANT (8-12)
A. Most of the time life is not evil. It just doesn’t go the way we want.
B. The main thing we want but don’t have is wealth.
III. MO’ MONEY, MO’ PROBLEMS (13-20)
A. In the end money and wealth don’t satisfy and only complicate life.
B. Money is not always a blessing and being broke is not always a curse. (Matthew 19:23-26)
IV. BROKE AIN’T HOLY (6:1-12)
A. Money is morally neutral. It is what we do with it that makes it either a slave master or a ring master.
B. God does not renounce money. God is rich and restores the purpose of money.
C. Money gives you the illusion of happiness. Money buys temporary fun but not lasting happiness.
D. Life is short so don’t waste it chasing what is next.
1. Discipline, not prosperity, is the sign that we are loved by God. (Hebrews 12:5-14)
2. Wisdom, not wealth, is God’s most valuable gift to us.