Today’s Scrip-Bit 6 November 2016 Ecclesiastes 5:1.

Ecclesiastes 5:1   Keep thy foot (walk prudently) when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear (draw near to hear, rather) than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.

Aye mih people, a blessed Sabbath Day to you and yours!  And we’ll begin as usual with some praise and worship to get us ready, to get our hearts softened up for the Word. So let’s belt out that wonderful hymn we all know and LOVE, ‘Amazing Grace’! Let’s raise our sacrifices of praise heavenward, like we truly mean it nuh. 

‘Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I’m found, Was blind, but now I see. ’twas Grace that taught, my heart to fear. And grace, my fears relieved. How precious did that grace appear, the hour I first believed. 

Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come. ’tis grace that brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead us home. The Lord has promised good to me, His word my hope secures. He will my shield and portion be, as long as life endures. 

When we’ve been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun. We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise, than when we first begun. Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, Was blind, but now, I see.’ 

Yes friends, it’s all through God’s amazing grace that we can aspire to heavenly things and places! Without His saving grace, we would truly be lost like a thirsty man in an endless expanse of desert, only seeing mirages, or a rudderless ship adrift in the dark on a storm tossed sea.  Only through God’s grace can we find an oasis in the desert, or a clear path in the storm. 

That reminds me of the picture in one of my Bibles showing a ship caught in a storm with a young lad standing at the ship’s steering wheel that’s bigger than him, but comfortingly, behind the lad stands Jesus, with His left hand on the boy’s left shoulder and His right hand pointing the way through the storm.  

Ah friends, that’s how it is with all those who sincerely believe in Jesus and seek His saving grace; He takes us gently by the arm and guides us safely through the fearful storms of life. Now, given that generous life-line of grace, I don’t understand why anyone in their right mind wouldn’t have a great desire to associate with Jesus. But, I guess, if you don’t believe His Word, then you won’t see any reason for such an association. 

All I can say friends, is that I’m truly sorry for those who, for whatever reason, pass up the wonderful opportunity to walk closely with Jesus. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, so let’s pray that they will come to their senses before their earthly lives are over, because then that glorious opportunity will cease to exist. 

Oh, before we get to our Bit, let me apologize for a typo in yesterday’s message. Don’t know how many of you noticed it, but one heading had the 5th of November while the other had the 4th

Chuh! I didn’t notice it until after I sent out the Bit. Obviously it annoyed me, but it was too late do anything about it then. And it all stems from laziness yes, copying the heading rather than typing it all over again, then forgetting to change the date. Ah Lord eh! I guess that just shows that I’m human, and thus liable to make mistakes. (smile) 

Then this morning the clocks went back an hour, bringing an end to Daylight Saving Time. I don’t know why we continue the practice nuh, because it doesn’t seem to help anybody I know, and many other countries don’t use it and seem to get by very well. But them’s the breaks, we just have to grin and bear it, and once more figure out and remember the time difference in places we deal with. 

Anyway, we’ve finally come to our Bit, a caution against hasty vows, which seems rather appropriate for this Sunday morning as we go to church. ‘Keep thy foot (walk prudently) when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear (draw near to hear, rather) than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.’ 

A very timely bit of advice indeed my brethren! And the Preacher continues: ‘Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter anything before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon the earth: therefore let thy words be few. For a dream cometh through the multitude of business (effort or activity); and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.’ (Eccl.5:2-3) 

Yes friends, wisdom for the ages from Cousin Sol, writing as the Preacher. And the scholars enlighten us thus. ‘5:1-7. The emphasis of the passage is on the folly of an empty religious profession before a sovereign God: God is in heaven, and thou upon the earth. God expects sincerity and meaningfulness in worship. He is not impressed with foolish vows.’ 

Ah mih people, unfortunately, in the heat of the moment, a lot of us offer lengthy prayers and make rash, unwise promises to God, which we obviously can’t or don’t intend to keep. 

But listen to these awesome words of wisdom from the Preacher. ‘When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer (delay) not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.’ (Eccl.5:4-5) 

The truth of the matter though my fellow believers is that wisdom doesn’t only apply to our dealings with Almighty God, but should apply to our dealings with all humans! As sincere followers of Jesus, it is imperative that we keep our promises to all and sundry. He keeps all of His promises, and consequently expects us to do the same. 

Sadly though, our social media revolution has made this a time of many words – most of them foolish and unnecessary – and rash promises – many of which we have no intention of keeping, or simply can’t keep. That’s why we are cautioned to not promise, rather than to promise and not pay. Please let that be our motto from now on my people, it will keep us out of many troubles. Much LOVE!

…whatever happened to the old adage…promises were meant to be kept…not broken…

 

 

 

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