This Sunday evening the 23rd of April we resume our series through the book of Ecclesiastes. Before breaking over the Easter weekend we had studied up to Ecclesiastes Ch 4. Through these chapters Solomon had been making numerous observations about life lived under the sun and the meaninglessness of it all. In Chapter 5 he notices something else, but transitions from observation to instruction.
In Solomon’s day the practices of his countrymen did not escape his eye. Fake religion greatly distressed him as much as proud wisdom, vain pleasure, abused justice, or hollow freedom.
It seems that these men and women were coming to this great temple that took 153,000 men and 7 years to complete, with a huge number of sacrifices, but they took a mechanical attitude to the gathering of God’s people and to the sacrifice they were commanded to bring. They did the right thing with the wrong motives, or you could say they came to the right place with the wrong attitude. All of the detail of their religious service profited nothing because they missed the deeper meaning, the key purpose of those offerings – worship of God.
All of humanity are worshippers. What or who we worship is revealed in what we are willing to give and spend our time, our energy, our finances, our thoughts, our efforts to. Ultimately, our ‘god’ is revealed through our sacrifices. If this worship is not offered unto God, it is a vain evil.
As Christians, we must continually consider our worship unto the Lord that it is truly genuine and not a vain religious experience which is just as terrible as worship that is misplaced.
It is easy to come to church on Sunday morning and act the part of the Christian for a couple of hours when Monday through Saturday night I was doing whatever I wanted.
But to have right motivations, right desires, right focus, without hypocrisy, is another issue entirely. One of the main reasons non-Christians can’t stand the name Jesus and the word Christian is because of those that claim to follow Jesus as Christians live and act in ways that even non-Christians see as utter hypocrisy. This isn’t helpful for them, nor is it for us. We need to be genuine worshippers of God.
You are invited to join with us this Sunday evening from 6.00 p.m for a time of worship in song and study of God’s word as we consider a message from Ecclesiastes Chapter 5 titled “Vain Religion”.