Chapter 5

5.1-3 empty religion. Solomon turns his eye to religion. The hebel of religion. Jesus also dealt with these issues, mainly the lack of hearing. Jesus said in Mk 8.18 having ears, ye hear not. Many passages reflect the lack of hearing by religious people. Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Isaiah all speak of this perennial problem. Here Solomon also addresses this problem. The eyes and the ears are an integral part of religion. What you speak and look at, as well as what you absorb into your spirit by sight and hearing determine your spiritual status. It is expedient for people to remove any evil from their sight and hearing. Evil is presented on television, Hollywood movies, modern novels, Internet sites, and other platforms. a Christian must keep their home and mind free of this input of evil. Solomon reminds us here, God sees what we watch and listen to. He then adds the second warning about how we speak. This too can be evil. We must be cautious about evil communications. New Testament writers affirm this for the Christian.

5.4-7 vows. God expects sincere worship and words from his children. Foolish vows should never be made to God. To not pay our vows to God identifies us as a fool. It is simple, pay that which thou has vowed. Be cautious before you make a vow, but once you make it, pay the vow. It is better not to vow at all than to not keep your vows to God.

5.8-9 government. The roaming mental eye of Solomon is viewing all of life. He turns from religion to government. This may be the least surprising hebel of life. The only consolation would be, even government officials have authority over them. Even Kings are subject to a higher power.

5.10-12 Goods. Even the accrual of goods is hebel. He that gets silver wants more. Abundance does not bring contentment. Solomon can attest to this, and feels people need to see this hebel or vanity of goods and abundance. Abundance of goods can actually rob a man of sleep, while the poor sleep with no worry or care. It is the drive for wealth that does not satisfy man. Solomon’s descendant, Jesus Christ, centuries later reaffirms the same conclusion. Luke 12:15; And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. 

5.13-17 wealth. Wealth is easily lost and not a sure foundation for life. He observes no one takes wealth with them past the grave. He states all this is a sore evil (16), a rubbed and worn sad conclusion to life. 

5.18-20 joy of life. Solomon returns to his theme of the hebel of life. He again asserts it is good to eat, drink, and enjoy life. Man is to enjoy his hard work and realize his goods and wealth are a gift from God. A modern day saying would say it this way, “stop and smell the roses”. Solomon is confessing he pushed so hard, to achieve so many things, he missed an important facet of life. Life is designed by God to be enjoyed. Solomon repeatedly says, this is the gift of God. Three thousand years have not tarnished this advice. It is still the greatest advice given to mortal man. Life is a gift from God, enjoy it.

Thanks for reading today…