I was intrigued by what Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 5:1-2. Listen to it: “Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong. Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.”
Reflecting on these verses I was reminded of the experience Peter and two other disciples had on the mount of transfiguration. Remember how enthusiastically Peter suggested in Luke 9:33, “‘Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters – one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’” The writer adds (He did not know what he was saying).
We should always be ready to listen when in the presence of God. There is a time to speak, but when you speak, measure your words with reverent reflection. By and large we’ve lost the art of being still in order to know who God really is. We’re satisfied with shallow thoughts and hasty responses that we’ve had a hard time following through on. We should even be careful of our heart response, that it might not be fickle. Solomon is right when he said, “Go near to listen.”
Have you done that lately? When you’ve been in church? In your private devotions? The Psalmist declared, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). And the prophet Habakkuk reminds us, “The Lord is in His holy temple, let all the earth be silent before Him” (Habakkuk 2:20). May this aspect of worship be rekindled in our hearts and churches.