Let your words be few
“1Keep your foot [give your mind to what you are doing] when you go [as Jacob to sacred Bethel] to the house of God. For to draw near to hear and obey is better than to give the sacrifice of fools [carelessly, irreverently] too ignorant to know that they are doing evil. 2Be not rash with your mouth, and let not your heart be hasty to utter a word before God. For God is in heaven, and you are on earth; therefore let your words be few. 3For a dream comes with much business and painful effort, and a fool’s voice with many words. 4When you vow a vow or make a pledge to God, do not put off paying it; for God has no pleasure in fools (those who witlessly mock Him). Pay what you vow. 5It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. 6Do not allow your mouth to cause your body to sin, and do not say before the messenger [the priest] that it was an error or mistake. Why should God be [made] angry at your voice and destroy the work of your hands? 7For in a multitude of dreams there is futility and worthlessness, and ruin in a flood of words. But [reverently] fear God [revere and worship Him, knowing that He is].” Ecclesiastes 5:1-7 AMP
Some times, as human beings we are so happy and hyper and we find ourselves saying things that we may not mean. Some of us make promises just to please the people around them but yet we come to realize later that we never meant what we said and that messes us up because we made a promise and now we have to fulfill it.
It is so unfortunate that we find the same thing happening in the presence of God. We come in his presence and because we are in dire need of something, we make pledges of what we will do in return when the Lord fulfills or answers our prayers.
We make these pledges before God so as to please Him and later forget that it is a vow that we have made before him and we MUST fulfill it. In (vs. 4-6), Solomon urges us not make a vow before God and fail to fulfill it before God. You need to know that unfulfilled vows before God block our blessings and render us as sinners.
See this… in Deuteronomy 23:21-23 ESV, the God speaks to the children of Israel and tells them “If you make a vow to the Lord your God, you shall not delay fulfilling it, for the Lord your God will surely require it of you, and you will be guilty of sin. But if you refrain from vowing, you will not be guilty of sin. You shall be careful to do what has passed your lips, for you have voluntarily vowed to the Lord your God what you have promised with your mouth."
What you vow, you do it voluntarily without being coursed and thus you shouldn’t be coursed to pay that which you vowed voluntarily. Consider Hannah in the book of 1 Samuel 1, she earnestly and dearly needs a child and she made a vow to the Lord (see 1 Samuel 1) that the child The Lord gives her, she would give him back unto The Lord, and thus prophet Samuel was born. She later waned Samuel and when he fully weaned, 1 Samuel 1:20-28, she brought up Samuel to the temple where he remained the rest of his life serving God. There are some vows which are meaningful and others aren’t. By this, I mean that you need to be careful the kind of a vow that you are making least you are left regretting.
Consider Jephthah in Judges 11. This is what the bible says: Jephthah made a promise to the Lord, saying, “If you will hand over the Ammonites to me, I will give you as a burnt offering the first thing that comes out of my house to meet me when I return from the victory. It will be the Lord’s.” Then Jephthah went over to fight the Ammonites, and the Lord handed them over to him. When Jephthah returned to his home in Mizpah, his daughter was the first one to come out to meet him, playing a tambourine and dancing. She was his only child; he had no other sons or daughters. (Judges 11:30-32, 34 NCV)
The bible says that Jephthah mourned for his daughter for 30 days, and he also gave her time to go to the mountains with her friends and moan too then he released her. There are some vows that we make before the Lord that really cost us more than we expected they would cost us but the fact that we made the vows, we should be careful to fulfill the vows that we made because we made then voluntary without being coursed by anyone. We should be careful of the vows we make before God because He takes into account if every vow we make and he awaits for us to fulfill our word.
God is a promise/covenant keeping God; and since He keeps his promises and word unto us, so should we. We are created in the nature of God and thus we should take up his character and be like him in all aspects of our lives. The bible says that when we make a vow, we should be careful to fulfill it and never say that we were forced to make it or we never meant, that is why, rather that say something that you will come to regret, let your words be few and refrain yourself from sinning.
Solomon urges us that when we come to the presence of God, we should be ready to listen more than talking because it is the Lord who is I charge and not us. But you will come to realize that many of us are in there to blurb and then leave and you come to realize that in the multitude of the many words we said, we have sinned or made a vow that we weren’t ready to fulfill or never meant it.
This is what the MSG bible says: "Watch your step when you enter God’s house. Enter to learn. That’s far better than mindlessly offering a sacrifice, Doing more harm than good. Don’t shoot off your mouth, or speak before you think. Don’t be too quick to tell God what you think he wants to hear. God’s in charge, not you—the less you speak, the better. (Ecclesiastes 5:1-2 MSG)
Our talk in the presence of God ought to be minimal so that we can learn more than speak because we are not prolific in whatever we say, we are just but learners in every aspect of life. This is the reason Moses could come in the presence of God and make a very simple prayer in Psalms 90:12 "So teach us to number our days, that we may get us a heart of wisdom."
You and I need a heart of wisdom so that we can be knowledgeable on what we should say and what we shouldn’t say and when. We end up speaking things we shouldn’t speak/say because in our hearts we doe not have wisdom. Isaiah was a wise man. When he got into the presence of God in Isaiah 6, this is what he says of himself: "Then said I, Woe is me! For I am undone and ruined, because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” (Isaiah 6:5 AMP). When he got into the presence of God, he was not quick to speak to the Lord but he was cautious first to see his sin and allow The Lord to cleanse him then he could be able to respond to the call of the Lord. (See Isaiah 6:6-8)
Consider these two men who went to the temple to pray. Jesus gives a parable of the tax collector and the Pharisee who went to the temple to pray…
"Jesus told this story to some people who thought they were very good and looked down on everyone else: “A Pharisee and a tax collector both went to the Temple to pray. The Pharisee stood alone and prayed, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people who steal, cheat, or take part in adultery, or even like this tax collector. I fast “The tax collector, standing at a distance, would not even look up to heaven. But he beat on his chest because he was so sad. He said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ I tell you, when this man went home, he was right with God, but the Pharisee was not. All who make themselves great will be made humble, but all who make themselves humble will be made great.” (Luke 18:9-14 NCV)
Do you realize how many times we are like the Pharisee and all we do is justify ourselves in the presence of God rather than being like the tax collector and start with first start with accepting that we are sinners and seeking reconciliation with God. Remember the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples in Matthew 6? The aspect of forgiveness is prime. Many of us harbor so much contempt, hatred and unforgiveness towards other people on the basis of us being hurt. But consider this: you and I were sinners yet God chose to forgive us and he sent his one and only son Jesus Christ to die on the cross to pay the ransom for your sins. Imagine now the way God is hurt every time we sin or offend him, how would it be if He chose not to forgive you as most us do? This is the moment that God turns his face away from us because He doesn’t want to behold the sins that we are committing and offending him.
Paul writes to the Romans and reminds them of the Love God has for us.. and says “But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us.” (Romans 5:8 AMP). I love the way the Message bible puts it.. it says “But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.” (Romans 5:8 MSG). because of our sinful nature, God didn’t have anything he could do with us, but because of His love for us, He sacrificed His begotten son for you and me.
I want you to know that on your own, you can not make it/you are not competent/adequate to make your words be few or make a judgment that your words are appropriate or Ideal, but when you allow God to teach you and make you competent, then you are on the right track. Paul speaks to the Corinthians and tells them this: “We are not saying that we ·can do this work ourselves [are able/competent/adequate to consider anything as from ourselves]. ·It is God who makes us able to do all that we do [ But our ability/competence/adequacy is from God].” (2 Corinthians 3:5 EXB). We should know that this principle not only did it apply to Paul and the Corinth Christians, but it applies to all of us, for we all fall under the category of being insufficient because we are sinners only that through the death of Jesus, we have received our forgiveness.
What am I saying even as you finish reading this? We must let our words on earth, about every subject, be very, very few! The Word of God clearly magnifies this truth; within man there is no criteria to correctly evaluate any subject. In his natural state man thinks subjectively, rather than objectively. Too many people speak from their own limited resources, using idle words that do not originate from the mind of Christ Jesus. Instead of allowing their words on earth to be few, many people freely give opinions without thinking "with God" concerning the details of life. Whenever a person speaks from his human resources, it is not correct scripturally because it is not a divine provision. Therefore, he is speaking idle words. Idle words include all words that originate from our frame of reference in Adam… "Therefore let thy words be few" Ecclesiastes 5:2b.