Have Respect for God
1Be careful what you say when you go to God's house. Go there to listen. Don't be like foolish people when you offer your sacrifice. They do what is wrong and don't even know it.
2Don't be too quick to speak.
Don't be in a hurry to say anything to God.
He is in heaven. You are on earth.
So use only a few words when you speak.
3Dreams come to people when they worry a lot.
When foolish people talk, they use too many words.
4When you make a promise to God, don't wait too long to carry it out. He isn't pleased with foolish people. So do what you have promised. 5It is better to make no promise at all than to make a promise and not keep it.
6Don't let your mouth cause you to sin. Don't object to the temple messenger. Don't say, "My promise was a mistake." Why should God be angry with what you say? Why should he destroy what you have done? 7Dreaming too much and talking too much are meaningless. So have respect for God.
Riches Don't Have Any Meaning
8Suppose you see poor people being mistreated somewhere. And what is being done to them isn't right or fair. Don't be surprised by that. One official is watched by a higher one. Others who are even higher are watching both of them. 9All of them take what the land produces. And the king himself takes his share from the fields.
10Anyone who loves money never has enough.
Anyone who loves wealth is never satisfied with what he gets.
That doesn't have any meaning either.
11As more and more goods are made,
more and more people use them up.
So how can those goods benefit their owner?
All he can do is look at them with longing.
12The sleep of a worker is sweet.
It doesn't matter whether he eats a little or a lot.
But the wealth of a rich man
keeps him awake at night.
13I've seen something very evil on earth. It's when wealth is stored up
and then brings harm to its owner.
14It's also when wealth is lost
because of an unwise business deal.
Then there won't be anything left
for the owner's son.
15A man is born naked.
He comes into the world with nothing.
And he goes out of it with nothing.
He doesn't get anything from his work
that he can take with him.
16Here's something else that is very evil. A man is born, and a man dies.
And what does he get for his work?
Nothing. It's like working for the wind.
17All his life he eats in darkness.
His life is full of trouble, suffering and anger.
18I realized that it's good and proper for a man to eat and drink. It's good for him to be satisfied with his hard work on this earth. That's what he should do during the few days of life God has given him. That's what God made him for.
19Sometimes God gives a man wealth and possessions. He makes it possible for him to enjoy them. He helps him accept the life he has given him. He helps him to be happy in his work. All of those things are gifts from God. 20A man like that doesn't have to think about how his life is going. That's because God fills his heart with joy.