Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ecclesiastes 5:1-5 -- On Keeping Our Word

"Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.
Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.
For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.
When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.
Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay."
Ecclesiastes 5:1-5

I think that we get overly dramatic with God sometimes.  We get ourselves into a jam, or something is about to happen that we really, really don't want to happen and instead of listening to God and trying to understand his will in the matter, we just jump in and promise him *anything* if we can just have our way.  If, please, he can get us out of this jam, or save us from whatever is going to happen that we don't want to happen, or whatever it is.  And we make promises that are pretty extreme, like we'll never do anything bad ever again, or we'll quit whatever we're addicted to, or other extreme things that are almost impossible to accomplish all at once like that.  ... I think that those kinds of promises might be what "the sacrifice of fools" is referring to here.  In the moment, we really mean them.  We want whatever it is enough that we feel that we will do anything to get it.  But then if we do get it, we think, oh, I was just panicked for no reason.  I don't have to keep that promise.  ... We don't consider that we are doing evil by making those promises and then bailing on them.  And if we don't value our commitments, then our words and promises mean nothing, in any of our relationships.
When we talk to God, it really matters what we say, and what we do.  Our relationship with God is built, like other relationships, on trust and love and time spent in communication.  ... I don't think that means that we can't tell God what is going on with us all the time, and include him in our lives.  Those are great things.  But if we promise him something, we need to be willing to do it.  It's better not to promise those dramatic things than to promise them and then just walk away from that commitment.
Today, let's think about what we are saying to God.  Let's listen and learn more than we ask or demand.  Let's put his will first and not make promises that we can't keep.  And, if we are going to make a promise to God, or to anyone, let's make sure that it is one we are ready to take seriously and live with.  Let's make sure that our word means something.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Total Pageviews