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Bible Pathways - July 29, 2006

Ecclesiastes 5

In Today's Reading:

Caution against hasty vows; the emptiness of riches; wisdom and goodness upheld; respect for rulers

At Gibeon, the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream in which Solomon asked for wisdom. Yet, we have no record that Solomon ever copied the Law in his own hand, as God had instructed Israel's kings to do, and he ignored all of the laws specifically given to kings (Deuteronomy 17:14-20). As the years passed, he searched for satisfaction everywhere except from the Lord and His Word (Psalm 119:97-98). Following years of living an extravagant lifestyle, in his old age Solomon observed that rich and poor were equally obsessed with such fruitless endeavors.

Solomon's thoughts then turned from the secular to the religious life, and he noted that many attended the House of God offering insincere prayers and making vows that were never kept. The Holy Spirit, speaking through him, warned: Keep thy foot when thou goest to the House of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools (Ecclesiastes 5:1). Hypocrisy is an insult to God, as well as spiritually self-destructive. He further warned: Be not rash with thy mouth (5:2).

True worship requires a heart-inspired obedience to the Word of God. When we assemble to worship, we are to open our hearts to adore, praise, and exalt the Lord. Jesus defined worship when He said: God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). After creating Adam, God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul (Genesis 2:7). That eternal spirit and soul life is what must worship God; mere physical speech and to go through religious ritual are not sufficient. The inner man, the eternal man, is what Jesus was saying must recognize and worship his Creator.

The place where we worship the Lord is not important. It may be a magnificent cathedral, a thatched hut, a disciple's home, or a cave since ye are the temple of God, and . . . the Spirit of God dwelleth in you (I Corinthians 3:16). There is no time or place where God is not with His children (John 14:16; Hebrews 13:5). Because of this, we should always praise the Lord — be it in a palace or a prison. At midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God (Acts 16:25).

Christ Revealed:

As One who expects us to keep our vows made to Him (Ecclesiastes 5:4). So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God (Romans 14:12).

Word Studies:

5:12 suffer =b> permit; 5:13 sore evil =b> great adversity or affliction; 5:14 evil travail =b> misfortunes; 6:3 an untimely birth =b> stillbirth or miscarriage; 7:2 lay =b> take; 7:12 excellency =b> advantage; 7:26 bands =b> chains.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Government Officials: Rep. Diana DeGette (CO), Sen. Elizabeth Dole (NC), and Rep. Deborah Pryce (OH) Country: Egypt (67 million) in northeastern Africa Major languages: Arabic and English Christians are not permitted to evangelize Muslims 82% Muslim; 16% Coptic; .6% Protestant; .6% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Offering praise and thanks to God is a sacrifice pleasing to Him (Hebrews 13:15).

Optional Reading: Hebrews 6

Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 23:5

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