One of the most obvious results of vanity and futility is the creation of human anxiety. On a daily basis, we run into situations and people that can cause us pain and insecurity. Solomon mentions oppression, evil deeds, envy, competition, toil, dissatisfaction with riches, unhappiness and the lack of companionship. Can you identify with some of those anxiety-causing human problems in your life? How are you coping with them? Maybe we should listen to the wise advice from King Solomon.
When we are under stress and anxiety, we would feel insecure and want to talk about it. Some of us go to many others to share their frustrations and disappointments. The more they talk, the more they express their dissatisfactions and complaints towards people, society and even God. You want everyone to know of your problems even though none can solve them for you. Even dreams are common for those who are under stress, as Solomon states, “For a dream comes with much business, and a fool’s voice with many words.”
As one goes into the house of the Lord, the anxious soul would want to find comfort from telling God about all the troubles. Solomon’s advice is to draw near to God to listen instead of offering the sacrifice of fools and to become rash with the mouth. Do not let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God and let your words be few. God knows everything and a quiet trust is much better than kicking and screaming in His presence.
Words generated from an anxious heart could cause sin for we sin mostly with our mouths. “Let not your mouth lead you into sin” and “why should God be angry at your voice and destroy the work of your hands?” When your dreams increase and your words grow many, you fall into vanity and futility. They can steer you away from the fear of God and cause you to seek things apart from God such as wealth and other forms of security.
The King’s advice for overcoming anxiety is not to keep talking about it but to fear God and ask for His provisions as well as the power to enjoy them. Accept God’s lot for you and rejoice in your toil. In doing so, one will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart. Be thankful for what you have and do not covet that which you do not.
Are you anxious and insecure at this time of your life? Are your words reflecting your inner turmoil? Come before the Lord and listen to Him, keep your mouth shut and seek His direction for your life. Accept what the Lord has given you.
Ps 98:1-9 Ecc 4:1-6:12 2 Cor 6:14-7:7 Prov 22:16