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Silence and Spiritual Walk: Many Words Are Foolish Silence and Spiritual Walk: Many Words Are Foolish

Silence and Spiritual Walk: Many Words Are Foolish

The term dorbellist has fallen out of use, but lexicographer Kory Stamper of Merriam-Webster would like to revive it. This word means “fool,” specifically the kind of fool who appears to be smart but actually isn’t.

Solomon seems to have exactly this kind of fool in mind in today’s reading. Today we begin a new section in our month’s study, examining silence as a part of our daily walk with the Lord. The beginning of Ecclesiastes 5 makes a simple point in this regard: wisdom is associated with silence or few words, while foolishness is associated with the opposite (see Eccl. 9:17).

These points are made in the context of worship: “Guard your steps when you go to the house of God” (v. 1). To “go near to listen” means to go with a humble, teachable, obedient attitude, one that is slow to speak in light of God’s greatness. “God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few” (v. 2). The “sacrifice of fools,” by contrast, is the babbling of many words. The proverb of verse 3 is a guarantee: As surely as many cares cause restless or idle dreams, so also foolishness causes many words.

When making vows to the Lord, for example, many words can get one in trouble (vv. 4–6). Even if people speak impulsively or insincerely, they will not be let off the hook but will be held accountable. God does not forget—promises made to Him must be kept!

To fear the Lord, then, is to avoid the trap of many words and to exercise self-discipline of the tongue (v. 7). The word meaningless connects this point with the main theme of Ecclesiastes. Language is created by God; therefore, words have significance, meaning, and power and should be handled with caution and reverence.

Pray With Us

Today, continuing to pray for the Human Resources employees, we ask that God’s blessings would follow the lives of Marcy Torres, Mia Gale, Peter Miller, and Michelle Hughes, as they oversee many aspects of Moody’s work environment.

BY Brad Baurain

Dr. Bradley Baurain is Associate Professor and Program Head of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at Moody Bible Institute. Bradley has the unique privilege of holding a degree from four different universities (including Moody). He has just published his first book, On Waiting Well. Bradley taught in China, Vietnam, the United States, and Canada. Bradley and his wife, Julia, have four children and reside in Northwest Indiana.

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