The Sacrifice of Fools

The Sacrifice of Fools

If you need a passage that will help you focus on the Lord’s day, I would suggest reading the opening section of Ecclesiastes chapter 5 and give some heed to the phrase “the sacrifice of fools.”

Let’s begin with this understanding –there are many things that we might want to be called when we come into the presence of God; saint, servant, son or daughter, humble, empty, holy, worthless, tired, hungry, or joyous. However, we would never want to be called a fool! But that is what is implied by the phrase in our passage under consideration.

Contextually, the worshiper of chapter 5 is the same man in chapter 4 who seeks to accumulate wealth at the expense of all of his earthly relationships. This man will oppress others in the court (4:1-3) and in the workplace (4:4-6). He will even go so far as to isolate himself from everyone else for the sake of greater profit (4:7-8). This folly leads to the proverbial advice of 4:9-12 regarding the value of friendship and companionship.

When this isolated, oppressing man whose sole focus in life is to accumulate, advance, and amass comes to worship, his goal is the same as any other part of his life –to get and to gain. He treats his relationship with God the same as every other relationship. Thus, when he approaches God it is not really about God. He is not seeking to honor God, worship God, or extol God…rather he is seeking to gain from the experience! Thus, he is warned not to be rash in his vows or to be hasty in his promise. When he makes a vow, he is obligated to keep it!

There are two things that would have fixed his problem and these principles bookend the text: Walk carefully when you come into God’s presence (5:1) and fear God (5:7)! Let us remember these two concepts each time we enter into God’s presence and as we prepare our hearts to worship.

-Wayne Jones


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