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. Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; therefore let your words be few. For a dream comes through much activity, and a fool’s voice is known by his many words. When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; for He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed— better not to vow than to vow and not pay. Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin, nor say before the messenger of God that it was an error. Why should God be angry at your excuse and destroy the work of your hands? For in the multitude of dreams and many words there is also vanity. But fear God. (Ecclesiastes 5:1-7)
Speaking To God
The house of God was a place of reverence, fear and glory. Solomon constructed the magnificent place of the Lord following the instructions of his father, David. His temple would stand as a place of the holiness of God dwelling with His people for many years. Like the Tabernacle of old, the Temple in Jerusalem would be a place the people of God would sacrifice offerings seeking the pleasure of the Lord. Going to the house of the Lord has never been something to be taken for granted. There was a need to guard the steps of one’s heart approaching worship. This would especially be true of the words of dedication given at the temple. Solomon warned the heart should be careful not to utter frivolity or insincere words of devotion to the Lord because the righteousness of God would see through hypocrisy. His exhortation is to draw close to worship intending to listen more closely than offering up words of foolishness. Worship is directed toward the character of God; not the talents of men. Those who come before the Lord may impress others with their words of ostentatious braggadocios but He knows the intent of the heart. Man can easily forget that he is the clay and the Lord is the potter hastily speaking with disrespect and dishonor. A fool’s voice is known by his many words. Overcompensating for the inadequacies of an evil heart, the fool will try to impress God with his wisdom and great oratory. Nothing is more silly or useless than the creation trying to impress the Creator. Prudence is needed when coming before the Lord.
Worship is a direct relationship between man and God. The shorter the line the clearer the message. God has made His message as succinct as possible expecting man to recognize the relationship as one of truth and clarity. When a man makes a vow before God there should be no thought of reneging on the promise. It becomes a matter of a man’s word to be faithful to what he has committed himself to do. This is imperative for man to see the promise made to God is absolute devotion. It would be better to remain silent and make no promise than to try and fool the Lord God. When a promise fails the man may try to excuse himself for his failures when in fact the reason was because he never intended to fulfill the promise he made to God. This man is a fool. The admonition of Solomon is summed up in two words: fear God. There is nothing the Lord does not know and He knows the heart of man. Man can fool other men and never be discovered. Trying to fool the all-knowing, all-present and all-powerful Lord God is an exercise in eternal foolishness.
The temple of Solomon has long been laid to waste and men no longer worship in a singular place or nation. What the son of David said about going to the house of God has never changed. There is still a need to walk prudently or carefully when approaching the Lord to worship Him. This would be true when the assembly is called and during the busy days of the week. Worship is collective and individual and being rash with the mouth or uttering anything without respect for the holiness of God is a fool’s journey. The Lord knows the heart of all men. Everyone will be judged by their words which should serve as a warning and admonition to be more careful about crafting the words that come from the mouth. Good things come from good hearts and evil words come from evil hearts. Gossip is from an evil heart and is foolish. Cursing decries the nature of God, anger expresses a carnal heart, and lying is the ultimate foolishness of a wicked mind trying to fool the Lord. Promises made to God must be kept or not made at all. Marriage vows are sacred because they are made as an oath before the One who ordained the union. Promises made to one another should always be tempered by the promises made to God. When going to the house of the Lord words should be few and devotion multiplied. He allows man to come into His presence and what an incredible blessing to be able to speak to the Creator of the world, Savior of all men and Lord God the Almighty. Watch what is said.