Ecclesiastes 5: Bible Study Guide.
21-BSG-5A: WORSHIP GUIDE.
A Worship Guide corresponding with the today’s Bible Reading Plan: Ecclesiastes 5/ Theme: Reverence and Fidelity/ 21-BSG-5A, (Ecclesiastes 5:1)/ Hymn: “Speak to my heart, Lord Jesus, Speak that my soul may hear.” [Author: B. B. McKinney].
EXPLORATION: Reverence in the House of the Lord — (Gen 28:16-17; Ex 3:5; Lev 10:3; Josh 5:15; Ps 89:7. Is 1:12, He 12:28-29)
REFLECTION: This chapter discusses the way to face life’s problems: “Guard Your Steps Day by Day.” This theme can be divided as follows – An appeal to guard oneself against false and insincere worship (Ecclesiastes 5:1–7); Guard against oppression and the injustices you see others do (Ecclesiastes 5:8–9); Guard against covetousness and the love of money (Ecclesiastes 5:10–17); lastly, Guard the wonderful gift of God—the life He has given (Ecclesiastes 5:18–20).
In this devotion we are going to comment on the first verse: “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, NKJV) This verse is as serious as it gets! It speaks of cautions against irreverence and insincerity in the house of worship. The church belongs to God and in no sense is it a human institution. It is God’s church, His family. Therefore, believers (as members of God’s household), have the responsibility to conduct themselves accordingly. Paul hoped to arrive in Ephesus and see Timothy within a short time of this letter’s [1 Timothy] arrival. In case Paul arrived later than planned, he wrote these instructions to Timothy and the Ephesian church: “If I am detained, you may know how people ought to conduct themselves in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and stay (the prop and support) of the Truth.” (1 Timothy 3:15, AMP)
DEVOTIONAL IMPLICATION: Beloved, we are cautioned to “guard our steps” as we go to the house of God and approach to hearken, and not to give the sacrifice of fools –for none of them have knowledge about doing evil. In other words, they offer gifts for their sins, and do not turn from their evil works; for they do not know how to distinguish between good and evil. Solomon, having observed many ‘vanities under the sun,’ he now directs our attention to the house of God, where we might learn the will of God, the nature/ consequences of sin and how we might avoid them and be blessed. What is an acceptable worship in God’s sight? It is not merely an outward observance of religious duties, it includes a pattern of life honoring/ obeying God’s commands.
THE GOSPEL’S VOICE: This section is written as if God were speaking directly to you—Because He does. What does the Lord say to me this morning? My son, draw near Me (in My house) and hear My Word. Come with a readiness ‘to listen’ rather than to speak. Don’t you ever speak rashly or foolishly in My presence. Confess your sins and be ready to hear what I will say to you through Songs of praise, Prayer and the Teaching of My Holy Word. Have the kind of attitude that My servant Samuel had in My house, when he utter these words: “Speak LORD, for Your servant is listening” (1 Sam 3:9). As you come to worship Me this morning, would you humble yourself and listen? I hope you do!
MY DESIRE: By God’s grace, I want to listen more: to hear what God has in store for me from His Word, (through the Holy Spirit); I want to sing Songs of praises unto the Lord; repent of my Sins and worship the Lord in truth and in Spirit (John 4:24). Amen.
Have A Blessed Day: “God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, And to be held in reverence by all those around Him.” (Psalm 89:7, NKJV) “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:28–29, NKJV)
21-BSG-5B: PRAYER GUIDE.
A Prayer Guide corresponding with the today’s Bible Reading Plan: Ecclesiastes 5/ Theme: Guard yourself against false and insincere worship/ 21-BSG-5B, (Ecclesiastes 5:1)/ Hymn: “Jesus Thou hast promised” [Author: Eden Reeder Latta].
Focus: Reverence in the House of the Lord
Key Text: “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, NKJV) “But the Lord is in His holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before Him.”” (Habakkuk 2:20, NKJV)
Opening Remarks: “The house is the sanctuary for the family, and the closet or the grove the most retired place for individual worship; but the church is the sanctuary for the congregation. There should be rules in regard to the time, the place, and the manner of worshiping. Nothing that is sacred, nothing that pertains to the worship of God, should be treated with carelessness or indifference. … Happy are those who have a sanctuary, be it high or low, in the city or among the rugged mountain caves, in the lowly cabin or in the wilderness. If it is the best they can secure for the Master, He will hallow the place with His presence, and it will be holy unto the Lord of hosts.
When the worshipers enter the place of meeting, they should do so with decorum, passing quietly to their seats. If there is a stove in the room, it is not proper to crowd about it in an indolent, careless attitude. Common talking, whispering, and laughing should not be permitted in the house of worship, either before or after the service. Ardent, active piety should characterize the worshipers.
If some have to wait a few minutes before the meeting begins, let them maintain a true spirit of devotion by silent meditation, keeping the heart uplifted to God in prayer that the service may be of special benefit to their own hearts and lead to the conviction and conversion of other souls. They should remember that heavenly messengers are in the house.” [Testimonies for the Church, (Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1855), 5:491–492.]
Values To Build On: Listening, Humility, Reverence, Confession and Meditation of God Word,
Sins To Avoid/ Confess: Failure or refusal to keep Vows/ Promises / Covenants to the Lord; Abuse of love; Addiction; Carelessness; Dissatisfaction; Gossiping; Impatience; Intolerance; Ungodly use of riches; Covetousness; Evil-speaking; Fear of God, Reverence; Greed; Injustice; Lies and Deceits; Materialism; Oppression.
Something To Thank God For: Privilege of Prayer and Worship; Freedom of Worship: Attendance to the House of God; Heavenly promises; God: daily Blessings, Providence; Gift of Humility; God’s care/ intervention for the Poor.
People To Pray For:  Greedy people to be converted;  All Worshipers: to “guard our steps and focus on what we are doing as we go to the house of God;  All evil doers: —“to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim 2:4).
Issues To Pray For: Humility; Blessing: Temporal blessings from God; Contentment; Covetousness; Reverence (godly Fear); daily Gifts from God;
Today’s Promise: “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16, NKJV) “let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:22, NKJV)
Action Step: Take a moment to pray, confess and repent of the sins listed above. If you have a Prayer Request(s), kindly write it below and someone will pray for it.
PRAYER: Father, we thank You for Your word in Ecclesiastes chapter 4. We thank You for the gift of life this day: that we may once again hear and consider Your Word. Help us to learn how to “guard our steps day by day”– by worshiping You reverently (1-7); by guarding against oppression and the injustices (8-9); by guarding against covetousness and the love of money (10–17); and lastly, by guarding the wonderful gift of God (5:18–20). Teach us how we can draw near Your presence “with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” Forgive us dear Lord of the sins, and prepare us for Thy kingdom. We thank You Lord, and ask these things, believing and trusting, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.