Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | February 1, 2017

“For in many dreams and in many words there is emptiness. Rather, fear God.”

Today’s devotion comes from Ecclesiastes 5:1-7.

“Guard your steps as you go to the house of God and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools;  for they do not know they are doing evil.  Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God.  For God is in heaven and you are on the earth;  therefore let your words be few.  For the dream comes through much effort and the voice of a fool through many words.

When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it; for He takes no delight in fools.  Pay what you vow!  It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.  Do not let your speech cause you to sin and do not say in the presence of the messenger of God that it was a mistake.  Why should God be angry on account of your voice and destroy the work of your hands?  For in many dreams and in many words there is emptiness.  Rather, fear God.”  Ecclesiastes 5:1-7.


In a recent prior devotion, we discussed one aspect of this truth that in many words there is emptiness and that instead we should fear God.

In brief review, Solomon had observed:  “I said to myself, “Behold, I have magnified and increased wisdom more than all who were over Jerusalem before me;  and my mind has observed a wealth of wisdom and knowledge.”  And I set my mind to know wisdom and to know madness and folly;  I realized that this also is striving after wind.  Because in much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain.”  Ecclesiastes 1:16-18.

And, I commented:  “There are those who are “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”  2 Timothy 3:7.

But, there is another aspect to this truth that in many words there is emptiness and that instead we should fear God.  Scripture shows that there is a childlike quietness and composure in trusting God.

“O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty;
Nor do I involve myself in great matters,
Or in things too difficult for me.
2 Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me.
3 O Israel, hope in the Lord
From this time forth and forever.”  Psalm chapter 131.

“… May the beloved of the Lord dwell in security by Him,
Who shields him all the day,
And he dwells between His shoulders.”  Deuteronomy 33:12.

Other doctrine preaches and teaches as if there is salvation through man’s many actions and man’s many words.

But, Reformed Doctrine preaches and teaches that there is salvation through trust in God’s work and God’s words.

“Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?”  Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”  John 6:28-29.

“And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.  So do not be like them;  for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”  Matthew 6:7-8.

“Then Job answered the Lord and said,

2 “I know that You can do all things,
And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.
3 ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand,
Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.”
4 ‘Hear, now, and I will speak;
I will ask You, and You instruct me.’
5 “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear;
But now my eye sees You;
6 Therefore I retract,
And I repent in dust and ashes.”  Job 42:1-5.

“I know that everything God does will remain forever;  there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him.”  Ecclesiastes 3:14.

“16 The king is not saved by a mighty army;
A warrior is not delivered by great strength.
17 A horse is a false hope for victory;
Nor does it deliver anyone by its great strength.

18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him,
On those who hope for His lovingkindness,
19 To deliver their soul from death
And to keep them alive in famine.
20 Our soul waits for the Lord;
He is our help and our shield.”  Psalm 33:17-18.

“8 But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;
I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever.
9 I will give You thanks forever, because You have done it,
And I will wait on Your name, for it is good, in the presence of Your godly ones.”  Psalm 52:8-9.


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