“As you enter the house of God, keep your ears open and
your mouth shut. It is evil to make mindless offerings to God.
Don’t make rash promises, and don’t be hasty in bringing
matters before God. After all, God is in heaven, and you are here
on earth. So let your words be few.”
Ecclesiastes 5:1,2 New Living Translation
Solomon certainly exhibits wisdom in this advice.
Every noticed than when some people don’t know what to say they begin talking? It easily becomes one of those times when they find their foot in their mouth, the red rash of embarrassment coloring their face along with the stricken look of ‘why-in-the-world-did-I-say-that?’
I asked Siri (the usually smart lady who lives in my phone) a serious question the other day. With all the snow melt and days of rain we’ve had recently I inquired, “What is the current level of Lake Coeur d’ Alene?” To which she immediately replied, “The distance to Rocky Point, North Carolina is 1895 miles.”
Now either I spoke through a mouthful of oatmeal or she gave me any old answer because she didn’t understand the question. “I don’t know” would have been appropriate in this instance.
The wise king understands that we all do this on occasion. But we should be especially careful of doing it in the presence of God. For when He asks questions it’s never because He doesn’t already know how deep the lake is or how far it is to Rocky Point. He wants his questions to bring us together for the good of our future.
When He asked Adam and Eve where they were … you think He didn’t know? When He asked Moses and shepherd boy David what they were holding … do you assume He couldn’t see the rod and the slingshot?
When God dialogs with us it’s always to heighten our awareness. If He asks, “How are you doing?” the probe may be aimed at a fear in our life or make us aware of a dangerous direction we have recently taken. He wants us to stop, listen and evaluate before answering.
Instead, because we haven’t thought it through or aren’t willing to be honest with him we throw back the ‘Rocky Point’ answer, “Doing great … kids are growing like weeds and I have a three day week-end coming up.”
Solomon is admonishing us that when we’re talking with God to be real and honest enough to sift through the minutiae of the trivial and get down to the real issues in our lives.
God isn’t good at playing Trivia with us. Why? Solomon says it: “After all, God is in heaven, and you are here on earth.” If you desire to live according to heaven’s directions and receive heaven’s rewards, then listen to the questions and don’t answer until you’ve got the right answer! “ … let your words be few.”