Mind your step, not your dreams
“Watch your step.” Be mindful of where you are walking and going; you don’t want to trip and fall. That’s what’s going on in Ecclesiastes 5:1-7. When you go to the house of God, keep your foot, and be mindful of where you are going. And when you get there, mind your mouth. Go, being more ready to hear than to give the sacrifice of fools.
When a fool comes to God’s house, he does so without watching his step, thinking, or discernment of where they are going and to who they are praying to. This kind of offering is not pleasing to God (Isa 1:1-13). Instead, come to the house of God in a humble spirit, ready to receive God’s Word. Prepared to receive God’s instruction with an open heart, a pliable heart, humble heart to listen to God’s Word and be corrected, instructed, blessed, or encouraged. Be mindful that it’s God we are worshipping and speaking to in prayer. Ecclesiastes 5:3, “For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.”
I read an interesting article published by The Cleveland Clinic on Dreams: What they are and what they mean, which offered several theories about why we dream. Some doctors say that REM sleep dreams are associated with consolidating memories of the day. “Brain activity that occurs when we’re dreaming is similar to the memory-processing brain activity we experience when we’re awake…When you’re experiencing more stress or anxiety, you tend to dream more, too. The types of dreams you have also change. Dr. Michelle Drerup says that nightmares or stressful dreams — for example, about being chased or being in a frightening situation — are also common when you’re stressed. “That’s one of the theories of why we dream,” she says. “Our dreams might help us process and manage our emotions.”
Solomon could have told us that. A busy, stressful day might result in dreams, and it might also result in offering rash and hasty vows. Here, the preacher compares dreams to a fool’s voice, often nonsensical, jumping from one thing to another. Dreams may be terrifying, whimsical, or ridiculous. Likewise, a fool’s voice is known by the multitude of words. Most times, the fool does not know when to stop talking. Don’t be rash in your prayers when the day is full of care, worry, and anxiety, and make foolish vows. Think about what you are saying when you pray.
And those dreams? Adam Clarke wrote, “If, by the disturbed state of thy mind during the day, or by Satanic influence, thou dream of evil, do not give way to any unreasonable fears, or gloomy forebodings, of any coming mischief: – Fear God. Fear neither the dream nor its interpretation; God, will take care of and protect thee. Most certainly, he that fears God need fear nothing else. Well may an upright soul say to Satan himself, I fear God; and because I fear him, I do not fear thee.”