Ecclesiastes 5:1-2 “Keep Thy Foot When Thou Goest to The House of God”

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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.

Introduction

Our study today will cover only the first two verses of this 5th chapter of Ecclesiastes, as it concerns “the house of God”, and how we are to conduct ourselves within His house.

We will miss the whole point of what we are being told if we fail to define what is “the house of God”, so we will do that first with these few verses:

1Pe 2:1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,

1Pe 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

1Pe 2:3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

1Pe 2:4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,

1Pe 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

1Pe 2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

So we “are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood”, and in Christ we are “elect and precious”. That is just how much our Lord Himself identifies with us:

Mat 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Act 22:7 And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

Act 22:8 And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.

There are no chapter breaks in the original languages, so what we will read in today’s study in chapter five will be a continuation of what we have been learning in chapter four. In chapter four we saw that while a foolish king cannot be admonished, “the second child that shall stand up in his stead”, can be admonished, and He will benefit from the admonitions of the multitude of wise counselors “the house of God”, from who he will seek his counsel.

Here are a couple of verses from last weeks study which warned us of the “old and foolish king” within us, who is “old and foolish” by virtue of being born as the children of the first man Adam, who by God’s design is the son of “the serpent that is in the sea”.

Ecc 4:13 Better is a poor and a wise child than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished.

Ecc 4:15 I considered all the living which walk under the sun, with the second child that shall stand up in his stead.

Isa 27:1 In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.

This principle of being admonished by wise counsel “in the house of God” is so important that the holy spirit repeats this admonition three times in the book of Proverbs alone:

Pro 11:14 Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

Pro 15:22 Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.

Pro 24:6 For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety.

“Wise counsel” is based upon Godly wisdom, expressed in the Word of God. “Godly wisdom” is always contrary to what our carnal minded old man wants to do. Godly wisdom with meekness is not a natural part of our old carnal- minded first man Adam. To him it is natural to take the easy way out of any situation, and it is very hard, on the other hand, to say ‘I was wrong, I am so sorry I disobeyed you and ate of that tree of which you told me not to eat.’ It is neither natural nor easy for our proud ‘old man’ to say, ‘No, my dear Eve, that way is wrong, and this is what we should do, because this is what God’s Word tells us to do.’ It simply is not natural to do what God tells us to do when what He has told us to do is contrary to what we want to do, or what has always been done. Godly wisdom is always contrary to what our peers and the world expect of us. Here is what we just naturally do when given the trial of choosing obedience to God over our own desires and the desires of those around us:

Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

Gen 3:2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

Gen 3:3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

Gen 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

Gen 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Adam just naturally loved his wife more than he loved God. He loved her with all his heart. He certainly did not love Eve with the heart of God, who tells us this about how we are to love our wives and all our brothers and sisters in Christ:

1Jn 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.

So the first Adam, within all of us, thinks he is being loving toward his wife and toward his fellow man, when he to “please his neighbor”, and he “seeks not his own but another’s wealth”. He will even quote the scriptures in support of doing so:

Rom 15:2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.

1Co 10:24 Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth.

The problem with using those verses in that way is that those verses are not “the sum of [ God’s] word concerning how we are to “please [ our] neighbor, [ and how we are to] seek… every man another’s wealth”. Those verses must accord with and complement all the other scriptures which instruct us how we are to “please our neighbor for his good to edification” and how we are to “seek… every man another’s wealth”. When we use those verses to justify doing what Adam and Eve did we have only what the scriptures call “the wisdom of this world”.

1Co 1:20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

1Co 2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:

1Co 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.

God certainly “took [ Adam and Eve, and the serpent] in their own craftiness”.

James contrasts the wisdom of this world, the wisdom of our proud, self- righteous, old, first man Adam, with the wisdom of the converted, humble, new man, the last Adam:

Jas 3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation [ way of life] his works with meekness of wisdom.

Jas 3:14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

Jas 3:15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

Jas 3:16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

Jas 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

Jas 3:18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Wisdom which is “pure… peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated” is not a synonym for “earthly, sensual, devilish”. It is the exact opposite of being “pure… peaceable… gentle… and easy to be intreated”. “The wisdom that is from above… lies not against the Truth, [ and readily acknowledges] Thy Word is Truth.” Being “peaceable… gentle… and easy to be intreated” must never be confused with being tolerant of “another gospel [ contrary to] the doctrine of Christ”. Here is what those who are “first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy” will do when they are confronted with “another gospel [ which is contrary to] the doctrine of Christ”:

2Jn 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

2Jn 1:10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:

2Jn 1:11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

Obedience to that commandment will keep us from falling into the trap which has ensnared the whole ecumenical world, which has taken Jas 3:17 to mean that it is better to be united in a lie than to be divided by the Truth. Such a forked tongued doctrine is “lying against the Truth”, and it will cost the lives of those who believe that lie. The scriptures actually teach that it is better to be divided by the Truth than to be united in a lie.

But know, and be forewarned that all who live by the words of Christ in Mat 18:15-17, and all who live by the words of 2Jn 1:9-11 will be accused of being hate- filled, unloving, and divisive, and they will be “hated of all men” who live by the doctrines of orthodox Christianity.

Anyone who demonstrates their love for their fellow man by being obedient to the commandments of God, concerning how we are deal with those who bring another doctrine other than “the doctrine of Christ”, and anyone who insists on doing the thing He tells us to do when confronted with another doctrine, will suffer persecution and be hated of all men, especially of those who “lie against the Truth”, and who say they believe on Christ but cannot receive these His words:

Mat 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

Mat 24:9 Then shall they [ fellow believers in Christ, as well as unbelievers] deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.

2Ti 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

2Ti 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

When we read the words of our Lord: “If [ we] continue [ Greek, abide] in [ Christ’s] Word, then are [ we] His disciples indeed”, we need to notice that those words are addressed to “those Jews which believed on Him”. So nothing has changed in the past 2000 years, and those who believe on Christ to this very day and cannot “abide in [ His] Word” are His nominal disciples, but they are not His “disciples indeed”.

The admonition: ” 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”, is even more needed today than when these words were first penned, and these words in Joh 8 are just as true today as they were when Christ first uttered them concerning those who nominally believe on Him but do not and cannot abide in His word:

Joh 8:30 As he spake these words, many believed on him.

Joh 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue [ Greek, abide] in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Joh 8:37 I know that ye are Abraham’s seed [ I know you “believe in Me”]; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.

Joh 8:38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.

Joh 8:39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.

Joh 8:40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.

2Ti 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

2Ti 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

So “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution”, but notice who we are told will persecute them. Christ said it would be “those… that believed in Him”.

Here is the revelation of who will most oppose the words of our Lord:

Mat 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

Mat 10:35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

Mat 10:36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.

Mat 10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

Mat 10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

Mat 10:39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

God alone knows whether we love our families more than Him. But the one thing we know is that if we do put our family first, we are not worthy of Christ, and we will not “find [ our] life” in Christ, in this age if we do.

So all the Babylonian ministers who teach that Christ came to this world, in this age, “to bring peace”, and all those who place unity of family or church, or community, over or before obedience to the doctrine of Christ, as revealed in His Word, do not know the Christ of the scriptures or His Father, or His words or or His body. Any and all who place unity over obedience, and who will not even put a sinning brother, and a brother who transgresses against the doctrine of Christ, and who “will not be admonished”, out of the midst of the body of Christ, do not know the Christ who speaks these words:

Mat 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

Mat 18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

Mat 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

That is not “two strikes and you are out”. That is an act of love. It is an attempt to “gain [ your] brother”. It is the love of the children of God of this verse of scripture:

1Jn 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.. [Mat 18:15-17]

Did the apostles themselves apply that admonition from Christ? The apostle Paul lived by those words, and He tells us so:

1Co 5:1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.

1Co 5:2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.

1Co 5:3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,

1Co 5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,

1Co 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

“Having [ our] Father’s wife” is to take Christ’s wife away from Him, and take her to ourselves and our doctrines. The way that man was “delivered to Satan for the destruction of the flesh” was via the instructions of Mat 18:15-17.

What Christ wants us to know is that He will have nothing between us and Him, not even our families. Our friends and families are included in, and are the very meaning of “losing [ our] lives for [ His] sake”.

Christ will only have a wife who fears Him more than she fears this world. Christ’s wife will not come to Him and His Word with an idol of her heart which will wrest His Word to make it say what she wants it to say in order to fit in with the traditions of men.

That being so, she will “Keep [ her] foot when [ she] goest to the house of God, and [ she will] be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for [ she knows that[ they who do otherwise] consider not that they do evil”. The wife of Christ will not attempt to make the first three verses of Rom 14 contradict the last three verses of that chapter. Whatever Rom 14 and 15 are saying, that message is in complete accord with the rest of Christ’s words, including His words in Mat 18:15-35.

Here are those two sections of scripture, in Rom 14, which the vast majority of Christians who “believe on Him… cannot receive” or keep:

Rom 14:1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. [ Greek – arguing about discernments]

Rom 14:2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.

Rom 14:3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.

Rom 14:21 It is good [ for the strong brother to] neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

Rom 14:22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.

Rom 14:23 And he that doubteth [ and is weak in the faith] is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

Anyone who doubts is “weak in the faith”, and should not be forced by a stronger brother, to do anything he or she cannot yet understand or accept.

So are these last three verses admonishing “we which are strong” to simply give up our strong meat and become weak in the faith for the purpose of avoiding the offense of a weaker brother? Are these last three verses telling us that unity is more important than obedience to the strong meat of God’s Word? What is Paul telling us?

Here are Paul’s very next words:

Rom 15:1 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.

Rom 15:2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.

Rom 15:3 For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.

Rom 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

That it is. That is the answer to our question. Whatever is meant by “Christ pleased not Himself” is what is meant by “It is good to neither eat flesh, not to drink wine, nor anything whereby thy brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak”. The goal is to “grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ” (2Pe 3:18). The goal is to “be likeminded, [ and to] go on to perfection, and to not lay again the basic principles of the doctrine of Christ” (Heb 6:1-2). The goal and message of both chapters 14-15 is to get past being “weak in the faith” and to get to the point of being able to have the ability to have “the reproaches of [ Christ]… fall upon [ us]”.

Rom 15:5 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:

Rom 15:6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Rom 15:7 Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.

“The God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded [ as] Christ [ who] pleased not Himself” and was reproached for being strong in His faith.

And yet, while being ever firm and strong and always engaged in battle with the hypocrites in the church, Christ was never found attempting to force feed those who were weak in the faith. Here is all he laid upon the woman who was caught in the very act of adultery:

Joh 8:10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

Joh 8:11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

Christ thought nothing of offending those who would take their Father’s wife away from Him, but He was very gentle with a lost sheep who was still very weak in the faith.

Now look at what His very next words are:

Joh 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Christ does not “receive us” for us to change Him into our image, rather He receives us for the purpose of changing us into His image, so that “the reproaches of them that reproached the [ Him can] fall on [ us]” also for they will in deed fall on us for the very same reasons they fell upon Him:

Joh 5:16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.

Joh 5:17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.

Joh 5:18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.

Joh 5:19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

“He that followeth me” means that you and I are to do the things we see Christ doing, and what we all see Christ doing is “esteem[ ing] every day alike”, as “we… that are strong” are instructed to do in Rom 14:1, without permitting those who are weak in the faith to argue or dispute over that discernment or that point.

It is ” We… that are strong [ who] abide in [ Christ’s] word” (Rom 15:1) who are “the house of God” of Ecc 5:1:

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.

1Pe 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

“He that followeth Me… [ is offering the] spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” and if we “follow [ Christ]” we will not be found following “the traditions of men”, which are the “the sacrifice of fools… who consider not that they do evil” in making such sacrifices.

Christ Himself has already told us that anyone who ‘sacrifices a sacrifice’ to Him who is more concerned with pleasing a family member or the world around us, “is not worthy of [ Him]”.

Paul tells us the same thing in these verses:

1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

1Co 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

Rev 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

So God’s house will not be defiled by a ‘sacrifice’ that is not offered in obedience to God’s commandments and which does not “follow” what we see Christ doing.

That is the meaning of these words in today’s study:

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.

God’s elect are “the house of God”. “God is in heaven, and you are upon the earth” means that God dwells only in His elect who are “seated with Him in the heavens” (Eph 2:6), but we are all first of our first father, “the first man Adam… upon the earth”, before we become “the temple of God” where He dwells (1Co 3:15-16). Adam knew what the Lord had said, and yet he just naturally and meekly went along with his wife and ate of the tree of which he had been commanded not to eat. He and Eve certainly were not “more ready to hear” their Creator. The words of a stranger were more appealing to them. Neither Adam nor Eve were the least bit repentant when confronted by God for their sin. They were both “hasty to utter” accusations against others “before God”. Like King Saul, the fault was laid at the feet of others, and they justified their own sin. Such is “the law of sin [ which is] in [ our] members” (Rom 7:17-23).

Here is a Biblical example of not “keeping your foot when you go to the house of God” and not being “more ready to hear than to give the sacrifice of fools”:

1Sa 15:1 Samuel also said unto Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the LORD.

1Sa 15:2 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.

1Sa 15:3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. [“Every weight and the sin that doeth so easily beset us” Heb 12:1].

1Sa 15:4 And Saul gathered the people together, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand men of Judah.

1Sa 15:5 And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and laid wait in the valley.

1Sa 15:6 And Saul said unto the Kenites, Go, depart, get you down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them: for ye shewed kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt. So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites.

1Sa 15:7 And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt.

1Sa 15:8 And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.

1Sa 15:9 But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.

1Sa 15:10 Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying,

1Sa 15:11 It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night.

1Sa 15:12 And when Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place, and is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal.

1Sa 15:13 And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD.

1Sa 15:14 And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?

1Sa 15:15 And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.

1Sa 15:16 Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the LORD hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on.

1Sa 15:17 And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel?

1Sa 15:18 And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed.

1Sa 15:19 Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD?

1Sa 15:20 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.

1Sa 15:21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal.

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.

1Sa 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

1Sa 15:24 And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.

1Sa 15:25 Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD.

1Sa 15:26 And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel.

1Sa 15:27 And as Samuel turned about to go away, he laid hold upon the skirt of his mantle, and it rent.

1Sa 15:28 And Samuel said unto him, The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou.

1Sa 15:29 And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent.

1Sa 15:30 Then he said, I have sinned: yet honour me now, I pray thee, before the elders of my people, and before Israel, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD thy God.

1Sa 15:31 So Samuel turned again after Saul; and Saul worshipped the LORD.

1Sa 15:32 Then said Samuel, Bring ye hither to me Agag the king of the Amalekites. And Agag came unto him delicately. And Agag said, Surely the bitterness of death is past.

1Sa 15:33 And Samuel said, As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal.

1Sa 15:34 Then Samuel went to Ramah; and Saul went up to his house to Gibeah of Saul.

1Sa 15:35 And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the LORD repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.

Now let’s read those first two verses of Ecc 5 again:

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.

King Saul, the type of our own rejected anointed, does not consider it a sin to disobey certain parts of God’s instructions. He unilaterally decides that he will decide for himself the best way to sacrifice to God, and in doing so demonstrates His abhorrence of those commandments of God with which he takes exception. The commandments he, and we abhor are always the ones that require that we stand up against the wishes of the world and of all those around us, friends and families, who just like us, think that God’s word’s are just too exacting of us, and besides they will for certain cause us to be less popular with our families, our friends and of the world who simply cannot see the need to be that concerned with the details of the words and commandments of God. We just naturally “fear the people and obey their voice… the voice of a stranger” instead of “the voice of the [ True] shepherd” (Joh 10:14).

You and I will not in this life have a national army to contend with, but our “voice… of the people” will be our fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, mothers- in- law and daughters- in- law, and friends who will tell us that the details of our Lord’s commandments, like “put him out of your midst, have no company with him, and neither bid him godspeed”, are divisive and hateful and definitely unloving.

King Saul certainly was “rash with [ his] mouth” when he entered into the Lord’s house, and defended himself in the face of all the obvious facts which were testifying against him.

1Sa 15:20 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.

1Sa 15:21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal.

We want to “sacrifice unto the Lord… the things which should have been utterly destroyed”? Yes, that is exactly what we just naturally do, and our words are not few in defending our rebellion against God. We are not “more ready to hear [ the commandments of God] than to give the sacrifice of fools”. We don’t even consider our rebellion to be evil. We have all been guilty in our own time and in our own way.

Next week, if the Lord wills, we will continue to learn how important are the details of our Lord’s commandments, and of the dire consequences of failing to try the spirits of our dreams and of our prophecies, to see whether they are of God (1Jn 4:1).

Here are our verses for next week’s study:

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

Ecc 5:4 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.

Ecc 5:5 Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.

Ecc 5:6 Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?

Ecc 5:7 For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God.

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.

Ecc 5:10 He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.

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