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. (Ecclesiastes 5:1)
Advice When Going To Church
God is holy and He has always required those who worship Him to give honor and respect to His Holy name. When Moses saw the burning bush, he was told to remove his sandals, for the ground was holy. At Sinai, the people were warned not to approach the mountain where God communed with Moses lest they die. Before Israel began the siege of Jericho, Joshua was met by the Commander of the Lord’s army, who told him to remove his sandals because the place he stood was holy. No man can see God face to face. The Lord’s glory is so great that no human eye can view Him. God’s name is Holy, Lord God, Lord Almighty, and a host of names describing how Awesome (another name) the Lord is. There is no comparison when a man stands before the great I AM.
Reverence for who God is found in the story of Cain and Abel. Both sons of Adam offered sacrifices to the Lord, but only one was respected because the heart of Abel was true. Cain was a vain and evil man who flaunted his sacrifice. God’s rejection was not because of the sacrifice of the ground but the dishonor Cain presented his sacrifice. The Lord struck down Nadab and Abihu because of their insubordinate attitudes and disrespect for the glory of God. Moses reminded Aaron (father of Nadab and Abihu) the Lord must be revered and His holy name given respect and honor. God will not tolerate haughty, arrogant, disrespectful, and insolent hearts.
Solomon reminds the worshipers at the Temple to be careful how they come to worship the Lord. When a man comes to worship the Lord, he must approach God with the honor due to His name and the respect demanded of God. Coming into the house of God is not a place of frivolity. One must guard the steps of the heart when coming to worship. Walking prudently when one approaches the house of God guards against disrespecting the Lord. Solomon suggests one should come to worship with their ears open and their mouths shut. Making mindless offerings to the Lord is profaning the worship. The prophet Malachi chided the people for complaining worship was a weariness as they offered blemished sacrifices. It is evil to disregard the sacredness of worship.
The phrase ‘going to church’ is a misnomer, but it serves a purpose to illustrate a point. Under the Law of Christ, worshippers assemble on the first day of the week to follow the command of the Lord. It is called “going to church.” While the laws have changed and no man is bound by the Law of Moses and Temple worship, the hearts’ attitudes remain from Solomon’s admonition. When it is time to worship the Lord on the first day of the week, hearts must walk prudently to draw near to hear rather than to give the sacrifice of fools. Worship is not a time to play with children, check Facebook, send texts, read a book, sleep and a host of other egregious habits by Christians. The act of worship is coming before the throne of the Almighty, who demands respect and honor and giving all to the worship and praise of Him who holds every man’s breath in His hand.
Singing reminds the soul of the greatness of God’s glory. Prayers open the channels of blessing, seeking the blessings of the Lord. The Lord’s Supper is discerning the body and blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. To conduct oneself without respect during the Supper will bring severe judgment from the Lord. The time of preaching is a time to respect the word of God. When Ezra opened the word of God, the people stood. It does not suggest the need for standing, but it shows the respect shown by preaching God’s word.
Solomon reminded his people of the danger of vain worship. His message resonates in the worship of God today. The laws have changed, but the glory of God has not. God has allowed sinful man to come into His presence to worship Him and laud and magnify His name. This worship must be done in spirit and truth because God is Spirit and Truth. No man can come before the Father with disrespect. Walk prudently when you go to church. Draw near to hear rather than to give the sacrifice of fools.