Beginning with chapter five, we turn to material different from what we have seen thus far in Ecclesiastes, though it does have ties with the previous four chapters. The first seven verses differs in that it is a change from reflections on life to prescriptions for life, and in these verses we find five imperatives (commands).
Since these commands begin with a reference to worship and end with a reference to worship, we might look at these verses as a primer on preparing for worship.
First: “Guard your steps.” Pay attention to the way you are living, to what you are doing. I spoke with a man recently retired and he told me retirement was like a fog lifting from his life. We spend so much time following the schedule, making the next meeting, completing the next project, writing the next report that we have little time to see what else in life is going on, and where in life we are headed. Christians cannot afford to be fog bound.
Second, pay attention to your speech (vss. 2 & 6), for speech betrays the condition of the heart. It’s not just “watch your mouth,” but listen to your own words as the temperature of your soul.
Third, Be obedient to God (fulfill your vows – vs. 3). When you confessed “Jesus as Lord,” you obligated yourself to allowing him to rule your days. Are you fulfilling that vow?
Finally, stand in awe of God (vs. 7). It’s difficult to stand in awe of someone you don’t know. It’s difficult to stand in awe of one you don’t respect. What do you know about God? Really. Specifically. What passage of scripture teaches this? How does that point make God awesome in your eyes?
Worship is not an inconsequential non-participatory event. It requires preparation.