Guard your steps when you go to the house of GodEcclesiastes 5:1a
Learn to let God be God; that is the first thing He declares to us. The lessons of life will fall into place when you learn that. God is in charge of life, so let Him be in charge; take these lessons from His hands.
The place to learn that is in the house of God. When you go there, guard your steps; in other words, enter thoughtfully, expect to be taught something. In ancient Israel, of course, the house of God was the temple in Jerusalem. There sacrifices were offered, and the people were instructed about what they meant. There the Law was read, and the wisdom of God about life was given to people; this marvelous Old Testament was unfolded, with its tremendous insights into the truth about life, about what humanity basically and fundamentally is. The temple was the only place in the land where people could learn these things. In our day the house of God is no longer a building. We must be clear about that. You, the people, are the house of God. What the Searcher is saying is that when you gather together as the people of God, be expectant; there is something to be learned.
Second, he says, listen carefully. A fool is somebody who glibly utters naive, ingenuous, and usually false things. What the Searcher clearly has in mind here is our tendency to complain and murmur about what has been handed us in life. When we gripe and grouse about our circumstances, we are really complaining against God. We are complaining about the choice God has made in His wonderful plan for our life. We will never learn to enjoy anything that way, not even our pleasures, let alone our pain. So, he says, listen carefully, for among the people of God the truth of God is being declared; the wisdom of God is being set forth.
A man said to me,
I have been going through a painful experience this past week. I learned to see myself, and it horrified me. I saw things in myself which I despise in others. That is encouraging. There is a man who is learning truth about himself.
Lord, forgive me for my glib attitudes when I come into Your presence. Teach me to guard my steps and listen carefully to Your words.
What is the first thought that pops into our mind when we ask: Who is in charge? Have we learned to let God be God and to humbly inquire and listen to His wisdom?