Read Ecclesiastes 5:1-7
Have you ever offered the “sacrifice of fools”? It is true . . . Solomon’s initial readers lived at a time when specific details about animal sacrifices and grain offerings had been outlined. But this sacrifice of fools did not include the wrong animal or the wrong timing or the wrong method. The fools’ sacrifice of which he speaks is likely just as possible today. Here are some of its characteristics:
- A casual approach to God without considering His position. Perhaps you often hear an emphasis on a close, personal relationship with God. That is biblically accurate and necessary. Meanwhile, you must also recognize that He is “Our Father in heaven” whose name is “hallowed” (Matt. 6:9) while you are a human “on earth” (Eccl. 5:2). Reflect His exalted position in your approach to Him!
- Too many words and not enough listening. When I read that idea in verses 1 and 2, I picture someone who babbles incessantly without pausing to listen. These many words can be an indication of selfishness where a person thinks that this divine relationship is all about him/her. Instead, you are instructed to “let your words be few” (v. 2).
- Hasty words and not enough consideration. This is often related to speaking too much, but not always. It can be reflected in times when you open your mouth before engaging your heart and brain (v. 2). Take time to reflect on your relationship to the Lord.
- Failure to keep a promise made to God. Vows to the Lord are much less a part of the Christian culture today than they were at the time the Scriptures were written. Many believers choose instead to make no promises or at least to not make them public. By so doing, no one knows when they fail. Solomon, however, is not speaking against promises and vows. He is encouraging the follow through! Keep your promises!
I am guessing that all of us have been guilty of offering such a sacrifice. Now, based on God’s Word, we know to steer clear of those very real risks and bring true honor to the God of heaven.
“Therefore fear God!” (v. 7)