We are in a series in Ecclesiastes. As we move to chapters 5-6 you’ll notice that God is mentioned at least 12 times. Worship is God-centered not man-centered. Satan wants to take worship away from God and make it about us. Worship is not about us, it is all about Jesus. What are some things we do to “play games” with God and not give Him the worship He deserves?
Have Worship without Wonder
Chapter 5 begins, “Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Better to approach in obedience than to offer the sacrifice as fools do, for they ignorantly do wrong” (v. 1). Don’t miss the word “when.” The people of God are to assemble at the house of God. Sunday morning is a Saturday night decision. Growing up I never asked my parents, “What are we going to do Sunday?” It was foundational to our faith! Worship is more than an hour on Sunday, it’s a way of life! Don’t argue with God but obey Him. Give God what He likes. To obey is better than sacrifice. In verses 2-3, Solomon cautions us about words. He said fools try to tell God what to do. We do not have His perspective. Listen to God’s word. God’s word is a lamp to your feet and a light to your path. That is what it means to guard your steps. He continues in verses 5-6 about making vows to God and not fulfilling them. Let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no. Keep your word. God keeps His word to us. Verse 7 concludes, “Therefore, fear God.” There must be an awe, respect, and a wonder for who God is. Take God seriously. Worship Him in Spirit and in truth. If you want to play games with God just let your worship be routine and going through the motions. Jesus came to add wonder. He came to give us life more abundant.
Have Government without Good
Verses 8-9 refer to government. According to Scripture, the role of government is to promote good and punish evil. Yet, human government is made up of human beings. We need good representatives in government! When it comes to government, we must remember, “there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God” (Rom. 13:1). Also, although God has ordained government it does not have all the solutions for all the problems in society. Government is not our source. God is our source! We play games with God when we have government without good.
Have Money without Meaning
In verses 10-17, Solomon talks about money and possessions. The Bible does not warn against money but against the love of it. When you accumulate wealth, you accumulate stuff which results in a lack of sleep. We become slaves to our stuff. Dr. David Jeremiah gives five truths about money from these verses. The more you have the more you want (v. 10). The more you have the more you spend (v. 11). The more you have the more you worry (v 12). The more you have the more you leave (v.14-17). In the end, it will not matter how many cars are in the garage or how many shoes you have in the closet. We leave it all behind. What matters is what kind of spiritual legacy you leave behind and how much eternal investments you made. John Wesley said, “Make all you can, save all you can, give all you can.” Don’t just store up treasure on earth but be sure you are rich toward God.
Have Employment without Enjoyment
Solomon says that finding joy in work is a gift of God (v. 18-19). God enables us to earn money and to enjoy it. Money has no meaning and employment has no enjoyment apart from God. “If we focus more on the gift than the Giver, we are guilty of idolatry. If we accept His gifts but complain about them, we are guilty of ingratitude. If we hoard His gifts and will not share with others, we are guilty of indulgence.” At the beginning of chapter 6, Solomon says it’s a tragedy when people don’t enjoy their work and the gifts God has given. You can have it all and wind up with nothing! You can end up with all toys and no joys! Your career cannot bring you contentment. The next raise, promotion, transfer, assignment, position, title, will not bring you satisfaction. Too often people don’t appreciate what they have until they lose it. I rather enjoy a good cheeseburger than wish I had a steak! Success and wealth will not last. First John 2:17 says, “The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. We were made to worship God.” If you live for wealth and work, you will be miserable and life will be meaningless. If you devote your life’s work to doing the will of God you will find joy, purpose and meaning to life.
“For who knows what is good for anyone in life, in the few days of his futile life that he spends like a shadow? Who can tell anyone what will happen after him under the sun?” (Ecc. 6:12). The answer? Only God because only God controls the future. Put your trust and your future in His hands. Fear God. To fear Him is to know Him and to know Him is to love Him. Worship with wonder. Govern with good. Use your money for eternal purposes. Enjoy your work for the glory of God.
Works Consulted: Heaven on Earth, Jeremiah
Warren Wiersbe Be Satisfied pg 71