Thoughts from Ecclesiastes, no. 1: Worship and Listening

I am going to post several jewels from the book of Ecclesiastes. There will be no order, rhyme, or reason. I will post what strikes me as worthy of sharing on the day I desire to share.


Ecclesiastes 5 talks about worship. There are several parts to this short passage and they give us a glimpse at some of the practices of worship. The first practice is “listening.”

Ecclesiastes 5:1b ESV
To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil.

To draw near to God to listen. How often do we do that? In my corporate worship times at traditional churches, never once have I been encouraged to approach God for the purpose of listening to His voice.

Communication is a two way street. Ask any married couple who is making it work. Communication is both about talking and listening. I cannot just talk to Keri all the time and call it “communication.” She would get frustrated and disconnect. And she would never have a chance to tell me what she thought.

Maybe it’s the same way with God. We are so busy talking to Him that we never give Him a chance to speak. No wonder we are frustrated when we never feel like we hear from God. We aren’t giving Him the chance.

Perhaps we would do better to spend more time listening to God than speaking to Him. The whole “God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason” thing. Maybe we really should be quick to hear and slow to speak. (James 1:19)


7 thoughts on “Thoughts from Ecclesiastes, no. 1: Worship and Listening

  1. I like what you have to say here, it is very important to listen to God. However, do you think that the Bible takes the highest place as the source of the voice of God? What I mean is that the Bible and the proper interpretation of it is the ultimate place to look for the voice of God and to listen to him.

  2. I spent plenty of time listening for communication from God. I never heard a thing. The most I ever experienced was a feeling about what I should do or think. That feeling may have come out the framework of my beliefs (including the Bible), but it was still from me. He acts awful lot like someone who doesn’t exist.

  3. Nate…thanks, man. I think that you are right in that the Bible is the medium of how God speaks to us. And we hear the preaching of His word on Sunday mornings. But are we being encouraged or challenged to be still and quiet long enough for Him to do so? And I think God speaks in other manners as well…through other people, through our circumstances, etc. And none of those manners would contradict His written word.

  4. Danny…I appreciate you and your honesty. I’m not really sure how to respond. I think many times God speaks to me through my gut. And I do make sure that feeling is consistent with what is in the Bible. If it isn’t, I don’t act upon it.

    I know you don’t believe He exists. And perhaps His silence is one of the reasons you feel that way. You’re in good company…David, Elijah, and others wondered if He was there and listening and/or talking or moving.

  5. The silence never really bothered me until I considered it in a wider context. When I was convinced that there was a god, I could excuse his silence. But when I examined my reasons for believing, I found that they were lacking. So not only was God silent in my case, but I see no reason to believe that there has ever been communication or miracles from any type of god. There are lots of claims, but in every case that I know of, there’s an explanation that makes more sense than god.

  6. Hi Danny, I’m not trying to be critical of you here, or even say I have the answer for you…but consider this…every morning you wake up and take air into your lungs, that is God communicating to you that you still have time, you still have a second, third, fourth, fifth, etc. etc. chance…seek Him brother, thirst for Him, endure; cease striving, and know that He is God. (Psa 46:110) Don’t fight it. I love you brother, and I believe in you.

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