The Importance of Sharing With Others

Ecclesiastes 5:13-17 NASB
13 There is a grievous evil which I have seen under the sun: riches being hoarded by their owner to his hurt. 14 When those riches were lost through a bad investment and he had fathered a son, then there was nothing to support him. 15 As he had come naked from his mother's womb, so will he return as he came. He will take nothing from the fruit of his labor that he can carry in his hand. 16 This also is a grievous evil--exactly as a man is born, thus will he die. So what is the advantage to him who toils for the wind? 17 Throughout his life he also eats in darkness with great vexation, sickness and anger.

This Scripture passage brings to mind the movie "Click." Adam Sandler portrays a man who has a remote control for life. Anytime he encounters an unpleasant event, or has a deadline, he just punches the fast-forward button and speeds through it. At the end of the movie, he's an extremely accomplished and well respected man in business, but has…

Money Brings Problems

Ecclesiastes 5:10-12 NASB 
10 He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is vanity. 11 When good things increase, those who consume them increase. So what is the advantage to their owners except to look on? 12 The sleep of the working man is pleasant, whether he eats little or much; but the full stomach of the rich man does not allow him to sleep.

No matter how much money we earn, we tend to be left wanting more. The more money we receive, the more our burdens increase. Even the miserly millionaire has tons of worries. He worries how to make more money that he'll refuse to spend, or whether his investments are growing or shrinking. With these worries come bigger expenses. It cost money to make money.

 Sometimes the love of money takes grasp of a heart and puts it into a choke hold. All that is important is gaining another dollar. It can become an addiction, or adrenaline rush. It's not just the poor and poverty stri…

Injustice is expected

Ecclesiastes 5:8-9 NASB 
8 If you see oppression of the poor and denial of justice and righteousness in the province, do not be shocked at the sight; for one official watches over another official, and there are higher officials over them. 9 After all, a king who cultivates the field is an advantage to the land.

These verses are difficult for me to digest, and I looked up a lot of different translations, and a couple of commentaries to help me grasp what God was trying to tell me. 

There is always going to be injustice and oppression. It's everywhere, always has been and always will be. This verse doesn't say we should like it, or tolerate it, but we should expect it. It doesn't tell us to take on the cause (that's in other passages), but to know that everything that happens will work for God's good.

The example used here is of a king owning a field. He has workers that grow the crops on their patch. Next there is someone to oversee several patches of land to make s…

Making Ultimatums to God

Ecclesiastes 5:4-7 NASB 
4 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! 5 It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. 6 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? 7 For in many dreams and in many words there is emptiness. Rather, fear God.

Oftentimes, I've heard people beg God for a favor or wish, "God, if you grant me this one thing, I'll go to church everySunday for the rest of my life." 

Some even feel the need to demand ultimatums, " God, if you save her, I'll know you really do exist."

The first statement, is downright silly (can you picture God rolling His eyes). You have no way of knowing from week to week what life will bring. Therefore, that statement is invalid. The second statement demands God…

Let Prayer Come From Your Heart

Ecclesiastes 5:1-3 NASB
1 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. 2 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. 3 For the dream comes through much effort and the voice of a fool through many words.

Often times when we pray, we feel the need to use a lot of words--especially when praying in public. With these words, who are we trying to impress, God or those listening?

Sometimes, we approach God with a wish and proceed to use lots of words--much like a child does when trying to convince a parent to make a purchase, or allow a special treat.

God doesn't want to hear a lot of flowery, verbose prose, nor does he want to hear a bunch of jibber-jab. He wants to hear what's in your heart. As the Scripture says, "God is in heaven and you …

Chasing Contentment

Ecclesiastes 4:13-16 NASB 13 A poor yet wise lad is better than an old and foolish king who no longer knows how to receive instruction. 14 For he has come out of prison to become king, even though he was born poor in his kingdom. 15 I have seen all the living under the sun throng to the side of the second lad who replaces him. 16 There is no end to all the people, to all who were before them, and even the ones who will come later will not be happy with him, for this too is vanity and striving after wind.
No matter what we have, we are never content. Even the Christmas gifts we've just received, won't make us happy for long. Think of the child who received a certain toy after begging for months, only to end up playing make believe with the box Christmas afternoon.

Or, those who feel the need to upgrade an expensive cell phone because the latest and greatest version has just been released.

Most of our discontentment occurs because we listen to others. Friends brag about a recent …

Value of Friends

Ecclesiastes 4:7-12 7 I observed yet another example of meaninglessness in our world. 8 This is the case of a man who is all alone, without a child or a brother, yet who works hard to gain as much wealth as he can. But then he asks himself, "Who am I working for? Why am I giving up so much pleasure now?" It is all so meaningless and depressing.9 Two people can accomplish more than twice as much as one; they get a better return for their labor. 10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble. 11 And on a cold night, two under the same blanket can gain warmth from each other. But how can one be warm alone? 12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
We depend too much on self. We believe we're the only one who can do a certain job and then we refuse to ask for help. We're afr…