Approaching God with Awe
Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong. Do not be quick to speak, and do not be hasty in your heart to utter a word before God. After all, God is in heaven and you are on earth. So let your words be few.
As a dream comes through many cares,
so the speech of a fool comes with many words.
When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it, because He takes no pleasure in fools. Fulfill your vow. It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it.
Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin, and do not tell the messenger * that your vow was a mistake. Why should God be angry with your words and destroy the work of your hands? For as many dreams bring futility, so do many words. Therefore, fear God.
The Futility of Wealth
(Psalm 49:1–20)
If you see the oppression of the poor and the denial of justice and righteousness in the province, do not be astonished at the matter; for one official is watched by a superior, and others higher still are over them. The produce of the earth is taken by all; the king himself profits from the fields.
10 He who loves money is never satisfied by money, and he who loves wealth is never satisfied by income. This too is futile. 11 When good things increase, so do those who consume them; what then is the profit to the owner, except to behold them with his eyes?
12 The sleep of the worker is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of the rich man permits him no sleep.
13 There is a grievous evil I have seen under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owner, 14 or wealth lost in a failed venture, so when that man has a son there is nothing to pass on.
15 As a man came from his mother’s womb, so he will depart again, naked as he arrived. He takes nothing for his labor to carry in his hands. 16 This too is a grievous evil: Exactly as a man is born, so he will depart. What does he gain as he toils for the wind? 17 Moreover, all his days he eats in darkness, with much sorrow, sickness, and anger.
18 Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting: to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in all the labor one does under the sun during the few days of life that God has given himfor this is his lot.
19 Furthermore, God has given riches and wealth to every man, and He has enabled him to enjoy them, to accept his lot, and to rejoice in his labor. This is a gift from God. 20 For a man seldom considers the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with the joy of his heart.
* 5:6 Or angel