Ignorantly evil worship is not only possible…
it’s likely going on in your church every week.
Why would I say that? Glad you asked…
In all his examination of the world and the things that happen in it, Solomon touches on just about everything, even worship. He noticed something going on in the worship services that he attended that was concerning to his heart.
It concerns me too. I hope it concerns you.
He saw people engaging in worship of God… and doing evil in the process.
How does that happen? Let’s look at the passage carefully…
1 Evil worship is “unguarded” worship.
Solomon says we should “guard our steps” when we approach God. What does that mean?
It means we should not come near the Almighty flippantly, or casually. He’s almighty. He’s entirely holy. He’s fearsome. He is to be feared.
2 Evil worship is worship that is done by rote.
We’re all guilty of this one, at least at times. We sing the songs, raise our hands, say our “Amen!” to the sermon, and all the while our heart isn’t in it. We’re putting on appearances. Looking and acting the part, but truth be told, we aren’t really worshiping. We’re just going through the motions because we “should.”
That’s what Solomon means when he refers to “the sacrifice of fools.” It’s believing that doing the religious actions is enough to satisfy a holy God who sees all. It’s truly a foolish mindset because it doesn’t take into account the state of the worshiper’s heart.
Worship is not about actions… it’s about a genuine response of the heart.
That’s a long ways from being “rote” worship.3 Evil worship is hasty.
The word “hasty” doesn’t mean to be fast or quick… it means to be done rashly or without much forethought.
Solomon makes the point by saying that “God is in heaven, you are on earth. Therefore, let your words be few.”
The idea here is that we come to God with proper reverence, proper recognition of exactly who He is… and exactly who WE are.
Consider these facts:
- God is Creator, you are creature.
- God is Master, you are servant.
- God is King, you are subject.
- God is Almighty, you are impotent.
- God is All-knowing, you are ignorant.
- God is Shepherd, you are a sheep.
- God is Lover, you are the beloved.
Need I go on?
When we truly see God for who He is, in contrast to who WE are… and recognize the amazing abundance of grace He’s poured out on us, we will NOT be ignorantly evil worshipers. We’ll be the kind of worshipers the Father is looking for, those who worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:23).
Why is this important?
Because when you recognize your proper place before God, you begin to submit yourself to His ways. You begin to humble yourself under His mighty hand… and that’s when the fireworks start.
- God lifts you up (1 Peter 5:6).
- He makes His power perfect in your weakness (2 Corinthians 12:14-15).
- He produces much fruit in you and through you (John 15:5).
And YOU will begin to live the life He has had in mind for you since before you were born. Your life will BECOME worship.
He will be honored.
You and your family will be blessed.
A story about true worship, for perspective
The first act (I don’t recall who they were) was done, and the crowd was eagerly awaiting Russ’s arrival on stage.
I remember what happened next, very clearly.
Russ Taff walked out on stage. There was no music. There was no fog or lights. He came out with a microphone in his hand and said something like this (imagine a Tennessee accent):
Then he started all of us singing a handful of current praise songs – “Alleluia”, “I Love You Lord,” and others. While we sang, Russ sat on the edge of the stage, his feet hanging over the side, his head down, saying and doing nothing. After a few of the songs were over, he stood, thanked us, and sang the song in the video below.
It was incredible. It was true worship.
Then he gave the best concert I’ve ever seen.