What does it mean to be wealthy? Many would say large financial resources, some would say it’s relative to others, and a few would consider the number of friends as a measurement. In Solomon’s monologue, he connects financial riches with anxiety, sleepless nights, and other things. So what does he suggests to focus on instead? Character.
Great character is a rare commodity and is defined by the attitude of the heart. Godly character determines our overall approach to life. In chapters 5 & 6, He gives us three specific areas.
I. Our Attitude in Worship
“1Walk prudently when you go to the house of God; and draw near to hear rather than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they do evil. 2Do 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.” Ecclesiastes 5:1-2 NKJV
Walking prudently or “guarding your steps” is the image of being purposeful. Our approach in worship shouldn’t be flippant or casual (v.1). God is still Holy, Sovereign and Awesome! The proper perspective demands humility and respect. We should:
- Talk less and listen more (v.2)
- Pray from the heart without empty repetition (see also Matthew 6:5-15)
- Not make foolish promises to God (v.2)
II. Our Attitude in Action
“…a fool’s voice is known by his many words. 4When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; for He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed. 5Better not to vow than to vow and not pay. Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin…” Ecclesiastes 5:3-6
- Be Diligent – The Bible instructs us not only to fulfill our commitments, but to do it timely. Following through on easy obligations is one thing, but the true measure is when it becomes tough. It’s easy now in our culture to “just walk away”, but God’s view hasn’t changed with modern laxity toward promises. As disciples of Christ, our “word” should matter, even if others’ doesn’t.
- Count the Cost – The wise consider the long term effects of a decision. In Luke 14, Jesus compares following Him to building a tower and considering the total cost beforehand. Choices have consequences. Even though the Lord shows us tremendous grace through forgiveness, consequences can last a lifetime.
III. Our Attitude in Choosing Treasure
“He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver…” (5:10a)
- What we love – you can fill in the blank with any item or activity and it will ultimately be true: “He who loves __________ will not be satisfied with ____________…” – What do you treasure?
- What we see as good – Chapter 6, verses 3-6 tell us a man could live 2,000 years, but if he doesn’t recognize the goodness of God all around him, his life was wasted. A simple rule of thumb is to ask this question, “Based on scripture, what does God value?” and then choose to value the same. – What do you treasure?
Once again Solomon is encouraging us to look higher, think deeper, and love more than the world around us. Let’s review his reflection in Ecclesiastes 2:24-26:
24 “There is nothing better for man than to eat, drink, and enjoy his work. I have seen that even this is from God’s hand, because who can eat and who can enjoy life apart from Him? – HCSB
Make the choice today to find your joy in the Lord. He’s provided all we need, plus so much more! (II Peter 1:3-4)
Series: “What’s the Point of Life Anyway?” – Lesson 2