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Lowell Brueckner

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Ecclesiastes 5


Chapter 5

The vanity of talk

1. Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil.
2. Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few.
3. For a dream comes with much business, and a fool’s voice with many words.
4. When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it, for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow.
5. It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.
6. Let not your mouth lead you into sin, and do not say before the messenger that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry at your voice and destroy the work of your hands?
7. For when dreams increase and words grow many, there is vanity; but God is the one you must fear.

Five times in the biblical books of wisdom an almost identical statement appears: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” This is the point, at which vanity ends and wisdom begins. In the midst of his discourse on life under the sun, a negative report to be sure, Solomon interjects some jewels. One is found in verse seven, “God is the one you must fear”, and it is the secret to life beyond the sun that has lasting value. It is the theme of the first seven verses. Though these gems may be few and far between in Ecclesiastes, they carry more than enough weight to tip the scale of earth’s value system in the right direction for the person, who knows how to measure and appreciate them. 

A reverent fear of God is beyond price, and it is a rare asset in today’s society. When the time comes to approach the things of God, see to it that it is done with the highest regard for his honor and worthiness. Guard your steps… remove your shoes, when you come to the holy place of encounter with the Almighty. Religious pretense is an enemy; it is not only deceitful, it is evil.

Revelation 1:4-7


4. John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne,
5. and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood
6. and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
7. Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so, Amen.

Grace and Peace from the Trinity

Isle of Patmos
“Grace and peace”, was Paul’s salutation in all 13 of his letters to the churches, as well as to Titus. Curiously, he added “mercy”, when writing to Timothy. Peter uses “grace and peace” in his second epistle and Jude adds mercy and love to peace. John in his second letter also adds mercy, but now in Revelation, he gives the simple greeting, which we find most commonly in the epistles. I simply want to point out that it is important to understand that in the Word of God, these greetings are not just customary, but carry the full weight of divine blessing.

This book is addressed directly to seven churches in Asia Minor and they are literally the first recipients of it. However, it is worth noting that there were more than seven churches in this Roman province in John’s day. Given the symbolism and the prophetic nature of the book, we can easily surmise that only seven were chosen to serve a wider purpose. Seven is the number of perfect completeness and I believe that these churches represent the church of all ages. I think that their characteristics are the same as those we find in different churches in every period of history. I also tend to think that each one represents a dominant type of church in seven historical periods, the Laodicean church standing for the dominant church of our times. I will write more about this, as we come to chapters two and three.

Revelation of Jesus Christ


Landscape on Patmos; traditional site of John's cave
is on the nearest hillside (the large, white building).
I finished my annual reading through the Bible (twice through the New Testament) a few days ago and have been thinking of what book to study and present on this blogspot through the rest of 2018. Since we went through Daniel's prophecy last year, it is logical to follow with the book of Revelation. So we begin today. If some of you are wondering about the study of Ecclesiastes, we will continue to post articles here intermittently from those immensely important observations of King Solomon.