Daily D – Ecclesiastes 6:11
The more the words, the less the meaning, and how does that profit anyone? (NIV)
The more words you speak, the less they mean. So what good are they? (NLT)
When our son was preparing to enter the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M, the general who was in command told a group of parents our kids’ generation is the “yacked at generation.” Their whole lives have been spent hearing yack, yack, yack.
He was making the same point Ecclesiastes here makes. Too much talk accomplishes too little. Fewer and focused words are more instructive and helpful.
This is an appropriate text for Father’s Day, don’t you think?
Men typically speak fewer words per day than women. Dads typically speak fewer words than moms.
Word counts make for interesting research and observation. What counts more than the number of words a person speaks, or writes, are the values and value of those words. A person can speak many words with great value to those who hear them. A person may speak a few words and have equal or greater value.
The man who spoke at Gettysburg before President Lincoln droned on forever. It is impossible at this moment to recall his name or anything he said that day. Lincoln was brief, to the point, and captured the mood of the moment. His words endure.
The first sentence says, “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
Those words were meaningful then. They are meaningful still. Work remains for these words to be true for all people in our country and around the world.
Lincoln went on to say, “It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
There is great profit in brevity and eternal values.
Here I have discharged my daily duty as a father. Herein is God’s own truth, historical perspective, and appropriate application.
I will say less more meaningfully.
Our Father, you are God in heaven, and here am I on earth, so I will let my words be few (Ecclesiastes 5:2). Give me the right words at the right time shaped by the right values and delivered in the right manner. Amen.
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2 Chronicles 35:25 Jeremiah composed laments for Josiah, and to this day all the male and female singers commemorate Josiah in the laments. These became a tradition in Israel and are written in the Laments. (NIV)
2 Chronicles 33:15, 16 He got rid of the foreign gods and removed the image from the temple of the Lord, as well as all the altars he had built on the temple hill and in Jerusalem; and he threw them out of the city. Then he restored the altar of the Lord and sacrificed fellowship offerings and thank offerings on it, and told Judah to serve the Lord, the God of Israel.
Matthew 3:8 “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.”
2 Kings 20:2, 3 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
Isaiah 65:24 “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.”