Ecclesiastes 5:1-20

Talks for Growing Christians

Right Views of Religion, Rulers and Riches

Ecclesiastes 5:1-20

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Lesson Number 6

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Believers should have the right view of religion.
  2. Believers should have the right view of rulers.
  3. Believers should have the right view of riches.

Practical Application

  1. Get the big picture!


  1. In verses 1-3, what is the lesson Solomon presents in regard to our communication with God?
  2. What is the guidance given in verses 4-6 regarding the making of vows before God? Identify one major vow that is commonly made before God and that God takes very seriously.
  3. The subject of rulers is covered in verses 8 and 9. What is the advice given in verse 8 regarding our awareness of governmental rulers and their behavior?
  4. List six of the facts about material riches given in verses 10-17.


  1. Solomon makes it clear that we should be good and active listeners before God. We should also be careful to limit hasty words when communicating with God.
  2. When making vows before God, we should never make a vow and not keep it (v 5), or try to get out of the vow by calling it a mistake (v 6). In our day the vow of marriage is commonly made before God and it is a vow that God takes very seriously. See 1 Corinthians 7:10-16 in this connection.
  3. The guidance given regarding governmental leaders is that no matter how many checks and balances are in place to control them, there will still be those leaders who engage in corrupt and oppressive practices. We should not be surprised when we learn of unrighteous leaders.
  4. Six facts about material riches given in verses 10-17 are:
    a. Riches cannot satisfy.
    b. Riches attract others who would use them and take more time and effort to manage.
    c. Riches cause worry and anxiety resulting in sleeplessness.
    d. Riches lead to hoarding which is sinful and hurtful.
    e. Riches can easily and suddenly disappear.
    f. Riches must be left behind.


  1. Discuss how you might differentiate between riches that God has given to you and those that you have accumulated and hoarded by your own efforts. Consider the motives that led to the accumulation of your material possessions and how an analysis of these motives may help you determine which riches are from God and which are those that are a result of possible covetousness.


  1. Is your life wrapped up in your material possessions? Do they consume your time and labor? Are your financial investments a source of frustration and anxiety? Turn them over to God today, and seek His guidance on how to use them or dispose of them. Learn to recognize and gather spiritual and heavenly treasures which will be everlasting and which will not have to be left behind.

Key Verses

  • “As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor – this is the gift of God. For he will not dwell unduly on the days of his life, because God keeps him busy with the joy of his heart.” Ecclesiastes 5:19, 20

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