Read Ecclesiastes 5 -- 8
In Today's Reading:
Caution against hasty vows; the emptiness of riches;wisdom and goodness upheld; respect for rulers.
Verses for Today:
Keep thy foot (your purpose for being) when thou goest to the House of God, and be more ready to hear (and obey), than to give the sacrifice of fools (insincere worship): for they consider not that they do evil. . . . let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in Heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few (5:1-2).
At some period in Solomon's life, his thoughts turned from the secular to the religious life, and he noted that many attended the House of God with thoughtlessness and hypocrisy and offered insincere prayers and made vows that were never kept.
Solomon gave wise counsel when he said: When you [go] to the House of God . . . be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools (large gifts by insincere worshipers) (Ecclesiastes 5:1). The Hebrew word translated hear carries with it the meaning to "take heed, obey." It is of utmost importance that we desire to know all that God requires of us, and then commit ourselves to being obedient to Him.
In any gathering of professed worshipers, there may be those who express the right words of praise and prayer and may even give generous offerings, but who have come with motives other than to worship the Lord. Such conduct is an insult to God, as well as self-destructive, since God does not overlook actions of hypocrites.
Many today follow in the steps of Solomon, who loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father (1 Kings 3:3) when he began his reign. But, as the years passed, he searched for satisfaction from every possible source except from the Lord and His Word.
After years of great material success, Solomon concluded that all was vanity and vexation of spirit (Ecclesiastes 4:4). He also observed that both rich and poor were equally obsessed with seeking such vanities (empty pleasures).
How different his life could have been if he, like his father David, could honestly say: O how I love [Your] Law! it is my meditation all the day. [You] through [Your] Commandments [have] made me wiser than [my] enemies. . . . I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep [Your] Word. . . . Therefore I love [Your] Commandments (Psalms 119:97-98).
As we assemble to worship the Lord, we too should adore, praise, and exalt Him. Jesus defined true worship when He said: God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:24).
The Scriptures reveal that [you] are the Temple of God, and that the Spirit of God [dwells] in you (1 Corinthians 3:16). The place where we gather to worship the Lord maybe a magnificent cathedral, a thatched hut, the home of a disciple, a hillside, or a cave -- but that is not the Church. the Church is those who gather there.
We, the Body of Christ, are the Temple wherein God has chosen to dwell. The Temple of God is Holy, which Temple ye are (1 Corinthians 3:17).
As One Who expects us to keep our vows made to Him (Ecclesiastes 5:4). Jesus said: Let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these [comes] of evil (Matthew 5:37).
5:12 suffer = permit; 5:13 sore evil = great injustice; 5:14 evil travail = misfortunes; 6:3 an untimely birth = born dead; 7:2 lay = take; 7:12 excellency = advantage; 7:26 bands = ensnared by deceit.
Government Officials: Rep. Diana DeGette (CO), Rep. Jennifer Dunn (WA), and Rep. Deborah Pryce (OH) · Pray for one another · Country: North Korea (22 million) in northeastern Asia · Major language: Korean · Violent oppression against all religions · 68% atheist; 31% Buddhism, Confucianism, and other Korean religions; 1% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Pray for those who wrong you (Acts 7:59-60).
Optional Reading: Hebrews 6
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 3:24