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Summary: Answers the question, "Does God care how we worship?

“How To Worship”

Ecclesiastes 5:1-7

One writer says, “We (21st century) American’s live in perhaps one of the most sacrilegious and blas-phemous church cultures in the history of Christianity.” [Douglas Sean O’Donnell. “Ecclesiastes.” Reformed Expository Commentary. (Philipsburg, NJ: P & R Pub., 2014) p. 107] It would be hard to argue the point when we consider sermon titles such as “What would Jesus say to Bart Simpson” and a while back a sermon series was based around not the Bible but episodes of “Andy of Mayberry Show.” It was a seven-week sermon series, “Everything I Needed to Know I Learned from Andy Griffith.

In countless Churches in our country today cong-regations struggle with the question of what consti-tutes appropriate worship. Younger people want some-thing contemporary while the older folks defend the traditional forms. So who is right?

Unusual Worship Trends and Practices – Iglesia Ni Cristo Media – Can anyone just serve our Lord God any way they want to? There is a growing religious trend that thinks that just any form of worship is acceptable to God. What is important they say is just to worship, which must be better than not worshipping at all. Are we just being intolerant when we say that not all forms of worship are acceptable to our Lord God

But there is a huge difference between attending church and coming to worship. We should have come here tonight quite simply to worship, because you are a worshipper. Louie Giglo in his book “The Air I Breathe” says, “Everyday, all day long, in every place you worship. It is what you do. It’s who you are…. Should you for some reason choose not to give God what he desires, you’ll worship anyway – simply exchanging the Creator for something he created…. Worship is our response to what we value the most…. Whatever is worth the most to you is …. - what you worship…. So how do you know where and what you worship? It’s easy. You simply follow the trail of your time, your affection, your energy, your money and your allegiance. At the end of that trail you’ll find a throne; and what-ever, or whomever is on that throne is what’s of highest value to you. On that throne is what you worship.” [Louie Giglio. The Air I Breathe. (Sisters, Oregon: Multnomah, 2003) pp. 9-11]

“Watch your step when you enter God’s house. Enter to learn. That’s far better than mindlessly offering a sacrifice, Doing more harm than good. (2) Don’t shoot off your mouth, or speak before you think. Don’t be too quick to tell God what you think he wants to hear. God’s in charge, not you—the less you speak, the better. (3) Overwork makes for restless sleep. Over talk shows you up as a fool. (4-5) When you tell God you’ll do something, do it—now. God takes no pleasure in foolish gabble. Vow it, then do it. Far better not to vow in the first place than to vow and not pay up. (6) Don’t let your mouth make a total sinner of you. When called to account, you won’t get by with “Sorry, I didn’t mean it.” Why risk provoking God to angry retaliation? (7) But against all illusion and fantasy and empty talk There’s always this rock foundation: Fear God! (The Message)

First, Draw Near and Listen Well. (5:1)

“Walk prudently when you go to the house of God; and draw near to hear rather than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they do evil.”

In the days of Solomon day “the house of God” would have been the Temple in Jerusalem, but what he has to say applies to any place set aside to worship God. So far in the book of Ecclesiastes Solomon has visited the courtroom, the marketplace, and the palace and now he visits the Temple. The Temple reminded one of God’s holiness – in that He was accessible except by sacrifice through a priestly mediator and then only once per year and even the priestly mediator could be consumed by fire if he did not perform correctly (Lev. 10:10-3, 15:31, 1 Sam. 6:19-20).

Solomon “noted that many of the worshippers coming to the Temple were not all sincere in their worship and thus left the Temple in worse spiritual condition than when they entered. What was their sin? They were robbing God of the reverence and honor he deserved because their worship was perfunctory, insincere and hypocritical.” [Warren Wiersbe. “Be Satisfied.” (Wheaton, ILL: SP Publication, 1990) p.64]

Kinder says that Solomon’s “…target is the well- meaning person who likes a good sing and turns up cheerfully enough to church, but who listens with half an ear and never quite gets round to what he has volunteered to do.” [Derek Kinder. “The Message of Ecclesiastes.” (Downer’s Grove, ILL: InterVarsity Press, 1976) p. 52]

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