I find the book of Ecclesiastes to be one of the more interesting and provocative books of the Bible because of its largely worldly perspective of life. I always say it’s important, when we quote Scripture, to do so with the context in mind. I can think of no other book in the Bible where this is more true than in Ecclesiastes. After all, telling someone the Bible says life is meaningless and a chasing after the wind isn’t exactly encouraging or uplifting. However, realizing the value of eternal things versus temporary things does hold value and is worth more than all of the gold in the world.

When I read this verse today, from Ecclesiastes, “It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it” I thought back to what I used to say before I knew the Lord (Ecclesiastes 5:5 NIV). I used to tell people, “I won’t make you any promises, but if I do, I’ll keep them.” I always thought this was a great way to avoid lots of pain in life. Especially when dealing with children. I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t want the best for their kids, and over the years, I’ve seen people break their backs working to give their kids everything they think they want. However, what I remember the most about my childhood aren’t the things my parents bought for me, but the time we spent together. Although this verse is referring to not speaking in haste, as revealed by the beginning of the next, “Do not let your mouth lead you into sin,” I think we still need to be careful about the promises we make, and the consequences of fulfilling them.

Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.

Ecclesiastes 5:10 (NIV)

Anyone who has ever thought the Bible wasn’t relevant to our modern world has never read this verse from Ecclesiastes. Years ago when I first moved to Santa Barbara, I had a friend who worked at one of the “high-end” car dealerships. One day we were talking about rich people and my friend told me something that shocked me. People, no matter how much money they make, spend as much as they make. I thought I did that because of how little I made in such an expensive area. However, over the years, I saw the truth in that, and have come to realize the wisdom of leaning on God for financial guidance.

Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot, and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.

Ecclesiastes 5:19-20 (NIV)

As I was finishing up this chapter in Ecclesiastes today, it struck me how much these verses could serve as a litmus test for one’s walk with God. All of us can become busy in our lives attending to the things we have to do. I believe if we’re serving the Lord and doing His work every day we will find our contentment in Him. We will enjoy all He’s given us and won’t find ourselves looking back on past relationships, victories, and failures. It is Biblical to remember where God has brought us from, and rejoice, it’s not a good sign though if we find ourselves thinking too much about the past when we should be busy with the present that God has given to us.

Do you know God? God knows you and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.