Read Ecclesiastes 4:13-16, 5:1-7..
One of the best pieces of advice I have ever received was, “If you are an apologist, make sure that after you’re done, the other person is not sorry you are a Christian.” One of the worst things that I ever heard was when a fellow Christian spoke about a mutual friend, saying, “He wouldn’t let anyone speak into his life.” Being humble is an admirable quality in a person. Solomon, the Teacher, speaks about humility in three areas of life in today’s passage from Ecclesiastes.
The king describes a ruler that is humble. He speaks about a wise youth verses an older king who is a fool because he does not listen. We have seen this in political cycles before. Our history is replete with examples. A humble and teachable person listens to others who are more mature. This person regularly reads and applies God’s word in his or her life. Solomon then moves to a discussion of worship and humility. He says we should “guard our steps” when going to the worship service, meaning we should be prudent. This does not mean having a stiff upper lip. It does mean remembering who we are and who God is as we worship Him. The focus of our corporate worship is not ourselves, but God Himself. We should act reverently, because reverence for God is the beginning of wisdom (Prov. 9:10). The Teacher suggests that making promises is a part of worship as well. This would have reminded his hearers from the Law when Moses spoke about making vows before God (Deut. 23:21-23). God never requires anyone to make a vow to Him (despite what some television preachers say). However, considering to whom one might make a vow, it would be better to keep it. For the believer, our example is Jesus, who proclaimed that He is “the Truth” (John 14:6). Therefore, believers must stand for and speak the truth.
Solomon suggests that life only makes sense in these and other areas when one acknowledges God and our position before Him. What we know about who God is and who we are as sinners saved by grace reminds us about the importance of humility in all the areas of our lives.