Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. For a dream comes with much business, and a fool's voice with many words.
So many have not been taught well concerning spiritual etiquette when gathering for worship. Please consider God's word concerning this.
My first thoughts are on the word "rash". This Hebrew word "bahal" is translated "trouble" 17 times and "haste" 4 times. Think here of Jesus words to Martha. "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary." In the context of this passage our thoughts here would be concerned with reverent consideration rather than a hasty rushing in accompanied by babbling about much of nothing. Seeking the Lord quietly would do so much for our hearts preparation for worship.
So often we appear so concerned to tell all our troubles, yet we have spent little time telling the Lord about our troubles and preparing our hearts for exactly the divine encounter in His Word that may be the answer we are seeking.
This passage also spoke to me about the reasonableness of well prepared worship. Shooting from the hip is not more spiritual than well thought out, prepared and contemplative worship. It was actually Aaron hastily making the golden calf, Nadab and Abihus' hasty and irreverent offering and King Saul's brazen worship that brought the judgment of God. We are approaching GOD! We especially, as people of grace, ought to be so filled with gratitude that all we can think about is, "I am coming before the King." "I am coming to worship my King." "He is the One who has set me free." "We have an audience with the KING!"
It's time we stop looking like we are so concerned about what others think about us and focus on the reality of what is taking place as we gather to worship the LORD, the MASTER, the KING! (and that would of course necessitate arriving in a timely manner and being sensitive to distractions during worship that would draw attention away from Him and His WORD! This also requires grace and wisdom.)
There is a real difference between being sensitive to the Holy Spirit and being carelessly unprepared when gathering before the LORD. But preparation is not only the responsibility of the Elders. We ought to be both prepared and yet subjected to His Lordship. He can do whatever He wants, and if our hearts are prepared, then and only then will we be ready to yield to Him. Personal preparation is so important here.
"God is in heaven and you are on earth" speaks of the fact that He is the Creator and we are the creatures. Coming boldly into the throne room never implies irreverence.
Let your words be few.
Then, when we have ended the service with prayer, it is appropriate to leave. It is not appropriate to leave before the last Amen. Let us be considerate to all. And let us then love those who are visiting, new comers, new members and those who are hurting, with true care, concern and prayer.