September 23, 2019

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Devotions written by Rob Peterman

Ecclesiastes 5:1-3

Hebrews 4:16 encourages, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” However, in this confidence, we must also bring humility.

Ecclesiastes 5 marks a shift in tone from “the Preacher.” This shift is from a meaningless life to one that is meaningful and worth protecting. He starts with worship. Many times when we approach the throne of grace, we can get the order of things wrong. For example, in Matthew 6, Jesus talks about prayer. First, he warns, don’t pray for show (Matthew 6:5) and keep your words to a minimum (Matthew 6:7). Then Jesus instructs how we should pray. Notice the order of his example. Take a moment and read the model prayer in Matthew 6:9-13. It begins with the recognition that God is above us—he is holy and to be greatly revered and honored (Matthew 6:9). Next, we must surrender our will to his ways (Matthew 6:10). Lastly, we present our requests and needs to him with confidence (Matthew 6:11-13).

Sometimes, we put the cart before the horse. This is how we make worship about us and not about God, the only one worthy of our worship. We begin to worship God only for the things he can give us and not for the only thing we need in our lives, his presence. It is from his presence everything else flows.

The Preacher offers the same advice. Approach God’s throne with reverence (5:1a), draw near to listen (5:1b), be mindful of your speech (5:2a), let your words be few (5:2b), and keep your dreams in check (5:3). We must always be on guard to keep the main thing, the main thing. In all things, we must focus on God and not on ourselves. This is summarized at the very end of Ecclesiastes: “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (12:13).

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