Behaviour in Church
Ecclesiastes 5:1-12
Keep your foot when you go to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools…

I. THAT YOU SHOULD ENTER THE SCENE OF PUBLIC WORSHIP WITH DEVOUT PREPARATION. "Keep thy foot," etc. The mad whom Solomon addresses is supposed to be on his way to the house of God. The character of a man's step is often an index to the state of his soul. There is the slow step of the dull brain and the quick step of the intensely active; there is the step of the proud and the step of the humble, the thoughtless and the reflective. The soul reveals itself in the gait, beats out its own character in the tread.

1. Realize the scene you are entering. It is "the house of God." Whom are you to meet? "The high and holy One," etc. Draw not hither thoughtlessly. "Put off thy shoes from off thy feet," etc. (Exodus 3:5). "How dreadful is this place!" etc. (Genesis 28:16, 17). Do not rush hither.

2. Realize the solemnity of the purpose. It is to meet with the Mighty Creator of the universe, whom you have offended and insulted. It is to confess to Him, and to implore His forgiveness.

II. THAT YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO THE INSTRUCTION OF PUBLIC WORSHIP WITH DEEP ATTENTION. Having entered the house of God, it is your duty to be more "ready to hear, than to offer the sacrifice of fools."

1. You should attend with profound carefulness to the services of God's house, that you may avoid a great evil, — that of "offering the sacrifice of fools." Mere bodily sacrifices are the sacrifice of fools (Ezekiel 33:31). Lip services are the sacrifice of fools (Isaiah 29:13). The hypocritical services are the sacrifices of fools (Luke 18:11. 12). What are the sacrifices that God will accept? (Psalm 51:17; Isaiah 66:2).

2. You should attend with profound carefulness to the services of God's house that your mind may be in a right state to receive true good. "Be more ready to hear," etc.

(1) Be ready to hear teachably. Let the soul be open as the parched garden in summer to the gentle showers.

(2) Be ready to hear earnestly. Wonderful things are propounded in the house of God; things vitally connected with your everlasting well-being.

(3) Be ready to hear practically. All the truths are to be appropriated, embodied, and brought out in life.

III. THAT YOU SHOULD ATTEND TO THE ENGAGEMENTS OF PUBLIC WORSHIP WITH PROFOUND REVERENCE. "Be not rash with thy mouth," etc. Let thy words be in harmony with thy real state of soul; and see that thy state of soul is truthful and right. There seem to be two reasons here against vapid verbosity in worship.

1. The vast disparity between the worshipper and the object he addresses. "For God is in heaven," etc. Duly realize His presence and greatness, and you will become all but speechless before Him. Isaiah did so (Isaiah 6:1-6).

2. The fearful tendency of an empty soul to an unmeaning verbosity (ver. 3).


Parallel Verses
KJV: 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.

WEB: Guard your steps when you go to God's house; for to draw near to listen is better than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they don't know that they do evil.

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