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::Devotional:: ‘Let My Words Be Few – Ecclesiastes’

November 17, 2009

We often sing a song for praise and worship called “Let My Words Be Few” by Matt Redman and until this morning I don’t think I realized where the song came from in the scriptures.  I’ve sung it countless times and I do like it, but this morning I’ve discovered something in my reading of Ecclesiastes that anchors that song to the scriptures and I don’t think I’ll ever look at that song the same again.  I guess this would count as one of those light bulb moments in life right?  Maybe I’m just behind the rest of the class and everyone else already knew this.  Regardless, here’s what I found.

In the fifth chapter of Ecclesiastes Solomon takes a brief hiatus in his review of all that is meaningless in life and spends some ink on something that really does have meaning and that is the awe of God.

Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong. Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth,  so let your words be few. As a dream comes when there are many cares, so the speech of a fool when there are many words.  Ecclesiastes 5:1-3

Have you ever noticed that when you pray, many times you spend a whole lot of time talking and not much time listening?  I guess for me I’ve often felt like if I stop talking the prayer line will disconnect.  Silly – I know, but I’m just being honest.  Sometimes I even prayer in circles – have you ever done that?  I trying to keep things going I will often pray something and then a little later when I’m trying to think of what else to pray for and also maintain the connection line, I end up praying the same thing as before – almost as a stalling technique I guess.  How foolish of me.  Solomon conveys a very simple concept here in this passage – talk less and listen more.  He has a very good reason for doing so too – we’re not God and we don’t have his perspective.  So rather than telling him what we need, or want, or think, or see – we might do better at asking him to give us His insight into what we really need, what we should want, what we ought to think, and what is really to be seen.

Here’s a few of Solomon’s points in bullet form to help us work on our prayer life:

  • Don’t be quick with your mouth or hasty in your heart to say anything before God
  • Remember, God has an eternal perspective from Heaven and you have a very small earthly perspective – so let your words be few and listen
  • Lots of words make you sound foolish before the Lord.

Solomon ends this little section with a brief yet deep conclusion.  In light of verses 1-6, Solomon says:

Therefore stand in awe of God.  Ecclesiastes 5:7

Here’s a youtube video someone has put together with the song “Let my words be few”.  Listen and let the Lord speak to you.  Take time out today to listen to Him rather than speak.

-Stay Rooted Col. 2:7-

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Leslie permalink
    November 17, 2009 3:59 pm

    I heard this quote recently that went something like, “Satan mocks our knowledge amd the things we do ourselves but he trembles at our prayers.” Prayer is so important because God is involved, not because of anything we do. There is power in prayer because of God, so even the good things we try to do on our own are nothing. This really hit home with me because I get so caught up in doing when i need to sometimes just sit in God’s presence and let Him work. We need to listen like you wrote and “stand in awe of God.”

  2. November 17, 2009 5:35 pm

    Thanks for sharing that Leslie! I’m writing that quote down for sure.

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