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Quiet Time in Ecclesiastes 5-6

Updated: Mar 16, 2022



Ecclesiastes 5 (HCSB)


Caution in God’s Presence

1 Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Better to draw near in obedience than to offer the sacrifice as fools do, for they ignorantly do wrong. 2 Do not be hasty to speak, and do not be impulsive to make a speech before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. 3 For dreams result from much work and a fool’s voice from many words. 4 When you make a vow to God, don’t delay fulfilling it, because He does not delight in fools. Fulfill what you vow. 5 Better that you do not vow than that you vow and not fulfill it. 6 Do not let your mouth bring guilt on you, and do not say in the presence of the messenger that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry with your words and destroy the work of your hands? 7 For many dreams bring futility, so do many words. Therefore, fear God.


The Realities of Wealth

8 If you see oppression of the poor and perversion of justice and righteousness in the province, don’t be astonished at the situation, because one official protects another official, and higher officials protect them. 9 The profit from the land is taken by all; the king is served by the field.


10 The one who loves money is never satisfied with money, and whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with income. This too is futile. 11 When good things increase, the ones who consume them multiply; what, then, is the profit to the owner, except to gaze at them with his eyes? 12 The sleep of the worker is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of the rich permits him no sleep.


13 There is a sickening tragedy I have seen under the sun: wealth kept by its owner to his harm. 14 That wealth was lost in a bad venture, so when he fathered a son, he was empty-handed. 15 As he came from his mother’s womb, so he will go again, naked as he came; he will take nothing for his efforts that he can carry in his hands. 16 This too is a sickening tragedy: exactly as he comes, so he will go. What does the one gain who struggles for the wind? 17 What is more, he eats in darkness all his days, with much sorrow, sickness, and anger.


18 Here is what I have seen to be good: it is appropriate to eat, drink, and experience good in all the labor one does under the sun during the few days of his life God has given him, because that is his reward. 19 God has also given riches and wealth to every man, and He has allowed him to enjoy them, take his reward, and rejoice in his labor. This is a gift of God, 20 for he does not often consider the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with the joy of his heart.



Ecclesiastes 6 (HCSB)


1 Here is a tragedy I have observed under the sun, and it weighs heavily on humanity: 2 God gives a man riches, wealth, and honor so that he lacks nothing of all he desires for himself, but God does not allow him to enjoy them. Instead, a stranger will enjoy them. This is futile and a sickening tragedy. 3 A man may father a hundred children and live many years. No matter how long he lives, if he is not satisfied by good things and does not even have a proper burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he. 4 For he comes in futility and he goes in darkness, and his name is shrouded in darkness. 5 Though a stillborn child does not see the sun and is not conscious, it has more rest than he. 6 And if he lives a thousand years twice, but does not experience happiness, do not both go to the same place?


7 All man’s labor is for his stomach, yet the appetite is never satisfied.


8 What advantage then does the wise man have over the fool? What advantage is there for the poor person who knows how to conduct himself before others? 9 Better what the eyes see than wandering desire. This too is futile and a pursuit of the wind.


10 Whatever exists was given its name long ago, and it is known what man is. But he is not able to contend with the One stronger than he. 11 For when there are many words, they increase futility. What is the advantage for man? 12 For who knows what is good for man in life, in the few days of his futile life that he spends like a shadow? Who can tell man what will happen after him under the sun?





PERSONAL JOURNAL:


SIN (verse 5:1): Father, please forgive my lack of obedience to You, to Jesus, to the Holy Spirit, to Your will, and to Your word. Help me to be an obedient follower, so that I may glorify You in all I do and say so that I may live a righteous life.


PROMISE (verse 5:15): You promise us that just as we came into this world naked and without any physical possession, we will also leave naked and without anything we can carry with our own hands. Help me to embrace this promise, Father, so that I do not covet the things of this world more than You.


ATTITUDE (verses 5:1-7): Lord, please help me to change my attitude of disobedience and empty promises to You. Help me to become more in tune with Your will and Your way of living so that my attitude glorifies You always, Father.


COMMAND (verse 5:4): You tell us to follow through with our promises and words to You with quick and immediate actions. You tell us to not make vows to You unless we are willing to fulfill them immediately.


EXAMPLE (verses 5:1-7): Father, You gave us the ultimate example of how to be obedient to You in these verses just as Jesus was. Help me to follow the example given in these verses so that I may understand Your word better, listen to the Holy Spirit more, and be a Godly man of action not just words. Help me to both truly understand and follow Jesus' example of living an obedient life to and for You, Father.


*DAILY NOTE: Far to often I give "lip service" to the words I say to You, Father. I know this is wrong and You remind me in these verses on how I am supposed to be living; how my prayer life and relationship with You is supposed to be based in obedience and not false words. Please keep working on me, Father, so that I may follow the examples You have given.


*GENERAL NOTE: I always "sandwich" my quiet time with God in prayer and do it in a location that I will not have any distractions so that I can be focused on my quiet time with God. Do not worry about how short or long your journal entries are for that day's quiet time. Just focus on the actual quiet time and relational conversation with God through the Holy Spirit and His Word. The journaling is an enhancement to your quiet time conversation with God, but also to allow you to reflect on things later as you can look back on your journal entries later when you do the chapters again in the future to see how you have grown. See the FAQ for more detail on how I do my quiet time.

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