Ecclesiastes 5:3-10 “For In The Multitude of Dreams and Many Words There Are Also Divers Vanities”

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In our last study we were told to “keep our feet”, meaning to have a pure walk, a life which is above reproach, and that our words need to be few, and we need to be “more ready to hear” than to do all the talking when we come into the house of God. We were told that it is foolish to be rash with our mouths. To be rash with God is to be rebellious, and when we are rash and rebellious, we end up contending with, reproving, and condemning our own Maker.

Ecc 5:1 Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.

Ecc 5:2 Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.

We also saw that the body of Christ is “the multitude of counselors” who “try the spirits to see whether they are of God”, and that the ‘trying of the spirits’ by that ‘multitude of counselors’ is done with the Word of God which “is spirit”.

Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

If indeed “the words that I speak unto you… are spirit” and they are Christ’s Words given to Him by His Father, then those words are the spirit of Christ and His Father:

Joh 8:28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.

Joh 12:49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.

Joh 14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

So it is essential that when we seek “a multitude of counselors” that we seek only to those who listen very attentively to, and who “do the works” of Christ (Joh 14:7 and this verse):

Exo 15:26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.

This verse, along with all of last week’s study, shows the expediency of being very attentive to “reading… hearing… and doing… keep all of His statutes, and commandments” (1Jn 5:2-3).

With all of those very solemn words and warnings in mind, let us notice what else the holy spirit connects with this very same rash and rebellious spirit that is just naturally the carnal- minded old man within us all:

Ecc 5:3 For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.

In this verse and again in verse 7 a “multitude of dreams and many words” are connected together.

This is not always the case, as our dreams can be, and are at times, used to give us directions from God. The Lord tells us as much:

Job 33:14 For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not.

Job 33:15 In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed;

Job 33:16 Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction,

Here is just one of many such examples where God has used “a dream… a vision of the night” to “seal… instruction” to men:

Mat 2:12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

Mat 2:13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

So God does speak to us in dreams, but we must know how to try the spirits of our dreams and our prophecies which we may conclude from our dreams, or else we will prove ourselves to be false prophets. This subject reveals the depth of the truth of this verse of scripture:

Eze 14:9 And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.

Eze 14:10 And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him;

That false prophet who has prophesied falsely through his dreams will be destroyed from the midst of God’s Israel, and so will all who seek unto that false prophet, because “a multitude of [ Godly] counselors” will not tolerate a rebellious and contentious false prophet in the congregation of the Lord.

But do the scriptures actually teach us that God really deliberately “deceives that prophet”? Yes, the scriptures do teach just that, and yes, He does deliberately deceive false prophets.

Let’s read about just such a deception sent by God:

Deu 13:1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,

Deu 13:2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;

Deu 13:3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

There it is; we just saw it with our own eyes. God causes the dreams of false prophets to come to pass for the purpose of proving us, and to demonstrate to us that we just naturally ignore and cannot receive His Words, whereas we will inevitably be much more ready to receive the words of a man who entices us to disobey our Lord, simply because that man was given a dream that came to pass. Our pride blinds us and eating of “a tree that is to be desired to make one wise” even if that eating is contrary to the word of God, becomes far more appealing to us than the plain and clear commandments of our God, and the plain and clear “example” of our Lord who always obeyed His Father and did what His Father told Him to do. It is God who causes the dream to come true, and it is God who causes that prophet to entice us with his dream and his prophecies, to go and serve other gods. Our “brother, son, daughter or wife, or our in- laws” may not tempt us to kill, steal or covet our neighbor’s goods, but they are very likely to tempt us to follow the traditions of those around us, which all seems as innocent as eating the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, and indeed those traditions are just as deadly. Christ left us an example to follow in that regard, when He refused to live according to the traditions of His own nation. Yet we cannot, of ourselves, follow in His footsteps, and our “brother, son, daughter or wife” will tempt us to follow the traditions of men, and we all in our own appointed time follow them, and turn our back on our Lord’s example.

Joh 5:16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.

Joh 5:17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.

Joh 5:18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.

So what are we commanded to do with a dreamer of dreams who is also proven to be a false prophet even if it is God who causes the dreams to come to pass? Here is just how important this is to our Lord:

Deu 13:4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.

Deu 13:5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.

Is not “the destruction of the flesh” the same as “be put to death”, and is not “thrusting you out of the way which the Lord your God commanded you to walk” the same as “the leaven of the Pharisees”? (1Co 5:1-9 and…

Deu 13:6 If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;

Deu 13:7 Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;

Deu 13:8 Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:

Deu 13:9 But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.

Deu 13:10 And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

1Co 5:1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.

1Co 5:2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.

1Co 5:3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,

1Co 5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,

1Co 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

1Co 5:6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

1Co 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

1Co 5:8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

1Co 5:9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:

Mat 16:11 How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? (The doctrines and traditions of the churches of Babylon)

Mar 8:15 And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.

Deu 13:6 is all inclusive and excludes no one. No one is to come between us and our Lord and His commandments. When they entice us to forsake the commandments of the Lord, they are to be put to death under the old covenant.

This is how we obey that commandment under the words of our Lord’s New Testament commandments:

Mat 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

Mat 18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

Mat 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

1Co 5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,

1Co 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

2Th 3:14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.

Tit 2:8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.

1Pe 3:16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

When words come out of our mouths, we do not deny they came out. We do not “lie against the Truth” by attempting to rearrange our words, as all false prophets always do. We live up to those words, and if need be we humbly repent of having ever had such a thought, but we do not do that which just naturally comes to us to defend ourselves as King Saul so graphically demonstrated for us in our study last week. Even after being confronted with his rebellion and his stubbornness, he still insisted that he not be humiliated before the people by having to confess his sin to them. If Christ is within us, what the people think is the least of our concerns. Our concern is to have the humble, “dying daily” mind of our Lord, and we confess ‘Yes, I am that man, Yes, I am chief of sinners, and I repent to you and before the whole world and before my God.’

That is what is being said in these next three verses between verses three and seven in which both verses connect “a multitude of dreams [ with] many words”:

Ecc 5:4 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.

Ecc 5:5 Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.

Ecc 5:6 Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?

The word translated ‘angel’ here is the same word translated as messenger in this verse:

Mal 2:7 For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.

So when we prophesy falsely we must simply repent, and never tell the multitude of counselors who “seek the law” that we have simply made a mistake and we need to recalculate our prophecy, or restate our error in ‘better, more accurate words’. This happens every day, and these words of our Lord, instructing us how we are to handle such matters, go ignored and forgotten by the masses who “seek unto [ these false prophets who God has deceived]”.

Therefore, if we speak a word, then we need to mean what we say, and if we do not mean what we say, or if it is demonstrated that what we have done or what we have spoken is in error, then the only thing left to do is to say ‘I am that man who is the chief of sinners, and I beg for your forgiveness, both of man and of God’. To vow a vow is now, in the New Testament terms, simply our words, which must be simply yea and nay.

Mat 5:37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

If we say it, we are to mean it. We cannot lie to God “against the truth” without suffering the death of our old, self- righteous, lying, first man Adam.

This whole subject is so very important that we have been given this event in the New Testament which demonstrates for us just how serious a matter this is in the eyes of our Lord:

Act 5:1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,

Act 5:2 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

Act 5:3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?

Act 5:4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

Act 5:5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.

Act 5:6 And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him.

Act 5:7 And it was about the space of three hours [ the process of judgment] after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.

Act 5:8 And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.

Act 5:9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.

Act 5:10 Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.

Act 5:11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.

This is an extreme example of “delivering [ them] to Satan for the destruction of the flesh that the spirit might be saved in the day of the Lord” (1Co 5:5).

Ananias and Sapphira is not a story about an exceptionally foolish couple.

Ananias and Sapphira are all of us who tell God we are giving Him our whole lives, even as we refuse to relinquish vast segments of our lives to His service. We too, must die before we will be saved from that dead condition.

… Which brings us back to:

Ecc 5:7 For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God.

… And back to verse 3:

Ecc 5:3 For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.

… Which is directly connected to the message which was in the preceding two verses:

Ecc 5:1 Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.

Ecc 5:2 Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.

If we truly believe that God is working all things after the counsel of His own will, we will be much more likely to not be rash with our mouth, and not let our heart be hasty to utter anything before God.

Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

If we truly believe He is working everything after the counsel of His own will, then we will let our words be few when we go to His house. Even all the oppression we experience in our own lives and all the oppression we witness in this evil world will be acknowledged as being done “after the counsel of His own” will and because “The Lord has made all things for Himself…”

Pro 16:4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

Wicked men, and false prophets do not choose to be wicked men and false prophets. They are not responsible for what God has placed within their members. So we are all told the same words:

Rom 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

Rom 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

Rom 7:20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

Rom 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

Rom 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

Rom 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

There is but one “lawgiver”, and that is God:

Jas 4:12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?

So it is God who has worked all of this for this very purpose, to cause us all to cry out to Him:

Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

Rom 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

In accord with these truths, we are admonished:

Ecc 5:8 If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they.

These words coming from the man who also tells us “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity”! Outwardly Solomon was in a position to see much “oppression of the poor”, his own taxation being considered to be too heavy by his own subjects, as his son Rehoboam learned immediately after his father’s death:

1Ki 12:2 And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who was yet in Egypt, heard of it, (for he was fled from the presence of king Solomon, and Jeroboam dwelt in Egypt;)

1Ki 12:3 That they sent and called him. And Jeroboam and all the congregation of Israel came, and spake unto Rehoboam, saying,

1Ki 12:4 Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee.

But king Solomon, being married to 700 wives and 300 secondary wives of all the Pagan nations around him, no doubt heard of the affairs of those nations, and it is only natural for all men to abuse the power they are given. The ‘earth’ is its people, and it is ordained by God that the basest of men generally rule the nations of this world. So we are told:

Ecc 5:9 Moreover the profit of the earth is for all: the king himself is served by the field.

All of this is true within us also, and that is always to be our primary focus when we are reading God’s words which are spirit (Joh 6:63). As “chief… of… sinners”, God has certainly “set up over the kingdom of men… the basest of men”, within each of us.

Dan 4:17 This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.

Being “the watchers” has been assigned to you and to me:

Eze 3:17 Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.

Paul gives us that warning and tells us the same:

Act 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Act 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

Act 20:30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

Act 20:31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

“The king” being “the basest of men… is served of the field” is the same as “grievous wolves… of your own selves… not sparing the flock”. We are all always first oppressive and overbearing, and cannot be satisfied with either riches or abundance of anything “the earth” has to offer.

Ecc 5:10 He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.

This verse simply reiterates what we were told in chapter one:

Ecc 1:8 All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.

Yes, beyond any doubt, materialism in and of itself “is also vanity”.

Next week we will see that God has ordained that we will all rejoice in the labor He causes us to do, and that this, too, is ordained of God.

Ecc 5:11 When goods increase, they are increased that eat them: and what good is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes?

Ecc 5:12 The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.

Ecc 5:13 There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt.

Ecc 5:14 But those riches perish by evil travail: and he begetteth a son, and there is nothing in his hand.

Ecc 5:15 As he came forth of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand.

Ecc 5:16 And this also is a sore evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go: and what profit hath he that hath laboured for the wind?

Ecc 5:17 All his days also he eateth in darkness, and he hath much sorrow and wrath with his sickness.

Ecc 5:18 Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.

Ecc 5:19 Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God.

Ecc 5:20 For he shall not much remember the days of his life; because God answereth him in the joy of his heart.

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