Summary: Not all worship is acceptable to God
SERIES: “BE SATISFIED”
“WARNINGS ABOUT WORSHIP”
Some warnings seem humorous. I remember seeing a box some years back with the following label: WARNING! This box contains envelopes. It’s been reported that there is a sign posted on a Catholic church that reads: “Warning! No Parking. All violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” Issued by the Sisters of Charity. On a laser in a physics lab, the sign reads: “Do not look into laser beam with remaining eye.” One Arkansas farmer discourages trespassers from his fields with this warning: “Please do not trample the poison ivy or feed the bull.”
During prohibition, bootleggers began to press grape juice into the form of bricks, which was not against the law. However, this warning was printed on the package: “Do not let this brick sit in a gallon of water for 21 days. It will ferment and become illegal wine.”
Other warnings are very ominous and menacing. It’s frightening to see warnings about the presence of radiation and the possibilities of radiation poisoning. When you see a warning concerning the possibilities of death by electrocution on a transformer, you work a lot more cautiously. There’s always the consideration given to safety when you’re watching TV and the warning comes across concerning tornadoes in the area.
Solomon gives us some warnings about worship. Eccl. 5:1-7 – Guard your steps when you go to the house
of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong. Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. As a dream comes when there are many cares, so the speech of a fool when there are many words. When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it. Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger, “My vow was a mistake.” Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands? Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God.
Not all worship is acceptable to God. Isaiah 29:13 – The Lord says: “These people come near to me with
their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only
of rules taught by men.”
So far in our study of Ecclesiastes, we have seen Solomon looking at the courtroom, the highways, and the palace. Solomon now looks at what happens at the temple. What did he see? He saw that many of the people coming and going from corporate worship were insincere in what they did and left in a worse spiritual condition than when they came. We need to carefully heed Solomon’s warnings concerning worship
PREPARE WHAT YOU PRESENT
In the Old Testament, the temple was the center of worship. It was truly the house of God because the presence of God lived at the heart of the temple – the Holy of Holies. Solomon’s warning was “Guard your steps when you go to the house of God.”