The writer of Ecclesiastes offered some valuable insight on how we should approach God. In our verse for today, he reminded us of where God resides compared to where we live.
Don’t make rash promises, and don’t be hasty in bringing matters before God. After all, God is in heaven, and you are here on earth. So let your words be few. Ecclesiastes 5:2
As we read the first verse of this chapter, we might find ourselves asking the following question. Do you think God purposely gave us two ears and only one mouth for a reason?
As you enter the house of God, keep your ears open and your mouth shut. It is evil to make mindless offerings to God. Ecclesiastes 5:1
What did the writer mean when he said, “to make a mindless offering to God.” What could we, as human beings, offer to the creator of the universe?
I’ve heard of many people who have tried to approach God by making some sort of deal with Him. Maybe you have done it a time or two.
I’m talking about when we try to persuade God with shallow promises. You know, something like this, Lord, if you get me through this, I’ll do, or I’ll never do this again.
Maybe you thought you gave your request a lot of thought when you decided to approach God. Anytime we go to the Lord with such a request or to deal with Him, it’s unrealistically mindless.
People will often tell someone what that person wants to hear. We do the same when talking to the Lord. But unlike people, God knows our hearts and our motives.
Hastily Bringing Matters Before God
The thoughts in this chapter pierce right into the center of our humanity. After saying don’t make rash promises, verse 2 says, “Don’t be hasty in bringing matters before God.”
A woman attended one of our Sunday morning services. Later that week, my wife and I visited her and her husband. He wasn’t interested in God because he had grievances against Him.
He had a painting business and blamed the Lord for his lack of work and lost contracts. I found out later that week that he had visited our church parking lot on two different evenings.
Upon those visits, he did something very peculiar. He stood in the middle of the lot and shouted at God. He made his disappointments in God vocally loud enough for the neighbors to hear him.
I understand I have just given you an extreme example of hastily bringing matters before the Lord. But, whether we do it loudly or under our breath, God said don’t hastily approach Him.
We don’t have the right to question God’s actions, to get upset with Him, or blame Him for anything. We must remember God is in heaven, and we are here on earth.
The writer followed that statement with this; “So let your words be few.” He didn’t write that as a stand-alone sentence. He wrote it in the context of hastily approaching God.
A Warning From Solomon
After Solomon, the writer of Ecclesiastes, offered us this insightful advice, he continued by issuing a warning.
When you make a promise to God, don’t delay in following through, for God takes no pleasure in fools. Keep all the promises you make to him. It is better to say nothing than to make a promise and not keep it. Ecclesiastes 5:4-5
These two verses go beyond making mindless offerings to God to sincerely speaking with the Lord. Think about a time when you experienced the presence of God in a church service.
You found yourself in an emotional and spiritual high, and God spoke directly to your heart. During that time, you made a commitment (also called a promise) to the Lord.
Everything about what had just happened with you was real, including God’s presence and your response to it. But what often happens when Monday morning rolls around?
You remember the awesome spiritual experience of the day before but not your commitment to God. Later in the week, it becomes a fleeting thought of something you’ll get around to doing.
Take heed of this warning so we don’t sin by delaying in keeping the promises we make to God. Which also includes trying to renege on them by saying we made a mistake.
Don’t let your mouth make you sin. And don’t defend yourself by telling the Temple messenger that the promise you made was a mistake. That would make God angry, and he might wipe out everything you have achieved. Ecclesiastes 5:6
Approach the Throne of God with Boldness
The scriptures encourage us to approach God, and we can without fear. But we must approach Him with reverence and awe. The Psalmist laid out for us the magnitude of God.
Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world. Psalm 46:10
We have the freedom, however, to go before the Lord without hesitation. Because of Jesus, we can approach the throne of God boldly and with confidence.
- So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Hebrews 4:16
- Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. Ephesians 3:12
One Day Everyone will Approach God
We constantly hear people of the world around us denying God and using His name in vain. But the Old and New Testaments both tell us what God will require of every person born.
- I have sworn by my own name; I have spoken the truth, and I will never go back on my word: Every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will declare allegiance to me. Isaiah 45:23
- At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:10-11
Some already have or will bow to Him here on the earth. Others, whether they believe in God or not, will approach Him on their knees before He judges them.
Lord, help us understand the importance of our promises and commitments to you and others. As we bow before you, we want to approach your throne, God, with all sincerity.
Check out these related posts about prayer.
- The Necessity Of Powerful Intercessory Prayer
- Seek Forgiveness Of Sins Through Prayer
- Jesus Prayed For Us! Did You Know That?
- The Altar Of The Lord
- Moses Interceded For Israel With Great Results
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