Sunday, March 04, 2007

Walk Carefully Before God

In his continuing series, Dr. David Jeremiah presents another excellent T.V. sermon. The entire series is available online at Turning Point Ministries online.

Here is the outline with some of the notes that I wrote down during this morning's sermon.


by Dr. David Jeremiah

This segment:

"Taking Your Troubles to Church"
Ecclesiastes 5:1-20

March 4, 2007

I. Don't Blame God for Your Situation – Ecclesiastes 5:1-3

Ecc 5:1

Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.

Ecc 5:2
Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter [any] thing before God: for God [is] in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.

Ecc 5:3
For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool's voice [is known] by multitude of words.

When we face the incongruities of life, don't blame God for your situation. Eccl. 5:1-3 instructs us to "walk carefully."

A. Walk Carefully Before Him

Solomon warns us to walk prudently, and carefully before God. As the first verse says, we are to "keep our foot." This is where we get the saying to "watch your step."

In Old Testament times, the house of God was in the marvelous temple. Back then, the people were instructed to be careful and not to be glib or flippant. The Lord appreciates an attitude of reverence and obedience. In fact, obedience and reverence were more important than sacrifices. If one ignores the obedience part, then he/she is sinning against God.

Moral of the story: Outward worship can't replace obedience!

In 1 Samuel 15, we find out that Saul edited God's command a bit. Samuel called him on his error and told him "to obey is better than sacrifice."

1Sa 15:22
And Samuel said, Hath the LORD [as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to hearken than the fat of rams.

Of course, we are to walk carefully and don't accuse God. We are to worship in Spirit and truth.

It is better to have heart without words than words without heart!

Read Eccl. 5:2-3, again.

B. Talk Cautiously to Him
Ecclesiastes 5:2-3

Again, talk cautiously. Don't be rash. No knee-jerk reactions. Don't say anything in haste. Remember God is in heaven and you are on earth. Our vision is very limited. His is perfect. If we could see and know what God knows - we would respond in a different way. This is where trusting in the Lord comes in.

Ecc 5:3
For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool's voice [is known] by multitude of words.

In The Message Bible version, Eccl. 5:3 says, "A fool babbles on endlessly."

Don't take this negatively. It's the best thing anyone can say to you! It saves you from further hurt. It reduces the spirit of bitterness and hurt.

II. Don't Bribe God with a Vow – Ecclesiastes 5:4-7

We are all familiar with the "foxhole Christianity." Be serious about it! It is better not to make vows at all rather than to break them.

Psalm 66:13-14

Psa 66:13
I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows,

Psa 66:14
Which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble.

The Message version simply states, "watch your mouth!"

Keep your vow(s) even when in difficulty.

III. Don't Be Surprised at the Government's Response – Ecclesiastes 5:8-9

Ecc 5:8

If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for [he that is] higher than the highest regardeth; and [there be] higher than they.

Ecc 5:9
Moreover the profit of the earth is for all: the king [himself] is served by the field.

It helps to understand what Solomon is saying here when we read The Message version.

Eccl. 8-9 Don't be too upset when you see the poor kicked around, and justice and right violated all over the place. Exploitation filters down from one petty official to another. There's no end to it, and nothing can be done about it. But the good earth doesn't cheat anyone—even a bad king is honestly served by a field.

Do we need to hear these words today or what?? The government messes up! Don't be surprised! It is a flawed, human device. Human beings are flawed; therefore, no government is ever perfect. They make good and bad need to "vent our spleen" about them. [ I need to learn that!].

As bad as government is, it is better than no government! Always strive to upgrade it through power of the Holy Spirit.

[Note from Christine: I believe that the government officials that we elect do matter...immensely. Petitioning our government with grievances and wrongs that need to be righted do matter...immensely! For me, fighting against the secular progressive agenda, the biased MSM, the anti-war zealots, activists judges who try to make new law (supposed to be done by the Legislature branch), especially when done to re-interpret the Constitution, and the defeating the immoral ACLU and their ilk, are all worthy causes for Christians to pursue! Just sitting back and allowing liberalism and the S-P propaganda machine turn our country into a cesspool of licientiousness is not Biblical, nor is it the Christian thing to do!]

IV. Don't Believe the Lie About Riches – Ecclesiastes 5:10-20

Many people fall into the trap of believing that, "if I just had more money...etc." then they would be happy. There are five reasons why that is not a good way to think.

A. Five Things You Should Know About Money

Ecclesiastes 5:10-17

1. The more you have, the more you want
Ecclesiastes 5:10

Ecc 5:10

He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this [is] also vanity.

Luke 12:15 (King James Version)

15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

2. The more you have, the more you spend
Ecclesiastes 5:11

Ecc 5:11
When goods increase, they are increased that eat them: and what good [is there] to the owners thereof, saving the beholding [of them] with their eyes?

3. The more you have, the more you worry
Ecclesiastes 5:12

Ecc 5:12
The sleep of a labouring man [is] sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.

4. The more you have, the more you lose
Ecclesiastes 5:13-14a

Ecc 5:13

There is a sore evil [which] I have seen under the sun, [namely], riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt.

Ecc 5:14
But those riches perish by evil travail:

5. The more you have, the more you leave
Ecclesiastes 5:14b-17

Ecc. 5:14b and he begetteth a son, and [there is] nothing in his hand.

Ecc 5:15
As he came forth of his mother's womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand.

Ecc 5:16
And this also [is] a sore evil, [that] in all points as he came, so shall he go: and what profit hath he that hath laboured for the wind?

Ecc 5:17
All his days also he eateth in darkness, and [he hath] much sorrow and wrath with his sickness.

B. Two Things You Need to Know About God
Ecclesiastes 5:18-20

1. Your ability to earn money is a gift from God
Ecclesiastes 5:18

Ecc 5:18

Behold [that] which I have seen: [it is] good and comely [for one] to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it [is] his portion.

2. Your ability to enjoy money is a gift from God
Ecclesiastes 5:19-20

Ecc 5:19
Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this [is] the gift of God.

Ecc 5:20
For he shall not much remember the days of his life; because God answereth [him] in the joy of his heart

The message is clear. Whatever you've got, comes from God! Be grateful for our jobs! Enjoy the joy that God has given you!

However, don't see wealth as an end in of itself. Receive it in that way that God wants to give you! Put God first and he will give you all these things. If you miss the joy of what you have, then you will miss God's blessing on your life!

Some day, we all will give an account to Him. We will face Jesus as our Judge or Redeemer. It's not "fashionable" or "acceptable" these days to talk about the reality of the existence of a place called "hell." But hell (and the avoidance of it) is spoken about more in the Bible than heaven! We are warned that hell is a place of a "fire that never goes out" and where you can't die.

One day, you will stand before God. Perhaps you don't believe that. But just because you don't believe it's true, doesn't mean that it isn't true and won't happen!

Jesus told us that "these things are written so you may know..."

Trust in Jesus Christ! Do you have doubts? Then go here and get them resolved!

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