"Be Not Rash With Thy Mouth..."

Friday, September 11, 2020

                   The first seven verses of Ecclesiastes 5 remind us to be careful about the words we say. As we read this passage, we see that “a multitude of words” is associated with foolish behavior (Ecc. 5:3), vanity (v. 7), evil (v. 1), and sin (v. 6). Parallel to this thought is what Christ taught in Matthew 6. He said that the heathen (Gentiles, nations, etc.) think they will be heard in their prayers because of their “much speaking” (Matt. 6:7). The point being that God did not acknowledge their “speaking.” Most men see through the tactics of someone who “talks too much”! Friend, don’t be like that.

                   How many times do we “shoot off our mouths” and not consider what we said until later, if ever? Solomon, by inspiration, makes it clear that our words can cause us great trouble. We are reminded here that God is vigilant in noting what we say (Ecc. 5:2b). This warning is repeated in such New Testament passages as Matthew 12:36-37, and James 3:1-12. In the book of Ecclesiastes, the Preacher reminds his listeners that our mouths can cause our flesh to sin (Ecc. 5:6). Friend, how closely do you watch what you say? David said, “I will keep my mouth with a bridle” (Ps. 39:1). What will you do? In an age of “social media,” let us be reminded that our “rash words” can be written as well as spoken. Are you careful to guard the words you type on social media? If not, why not? Are you careful about the stories you share on social media? Typed words will condemn us as quickly as the words that come from our mouths!

As we read Ecclesiastes 5, we note that verse four tells us to make sure and pay our vows when we make them. While this is not a passage talking exclusively about marriage, marriage vows are promises we make to our spouse and God, promising, “til death do us part,” among other things. Married people, are you honoring your vows? Man’s vows are so significant that it is written that it is better for us not to vow at all than to make a vow and not pay or fulfill it (v. 5). How are we doing in honoring the vows we make? See, if you make vows, but do not honor them, then you are a liar (Rev. 21:8)! Making vows also includes our debts! If you promise to pay someone back when you make a debt, then this is a vow. You need to make sure and pay your debts as you promised to do!

                   “By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words, thou shalt be condemned” (Matt. 12:37). Let us take the words of Christ and Solomon to heart. Our words are precious! Our words are the vehicles of our thoughts. We need to control our thoughts and make sure we do not “engage our mouths when our brains are in neutral”! “Keep thy foot” (Ecc. 5:1) means behave yourself! Let us behave ourselves and watch our words when we offer our sacrifices to God (Ecc. 5:1; Heb. 13:15; I Pet. 2:5), and watch our words daily! Jesus said our words can save, or our words will condemn.

Why is it that many of our politicians have no respect by the populace? It is because these people talk a lot, they promise (vow) a lot, and many times, their words amount to nothing! We judge them as liars because they promised things and never fulfilled their promises/vows! How refreshing it would be for a politician to come along who didn’t promise anything except to represent the constituents to the best of his ability! That’s enough!

                   Someone said that they prayed that their words might always be sweet, for one day they may have to “eat them”! How true! James 1:19 reminds us to be “slow to speak,” and how this is needed today! Let us follow the command of Ephesians 4:29 and 32, Ecclesiastes 5, James 1:19, and chapter 3 when we speak! We will be blessed immensely when we are not “rash” (hasty) to speak.

- Jarrod M. Jacobs