August 17, 2022
It is one of the most astounding attributes of God. He speaks to us. There could be no more extraordinary condescension that the One who made us would bend to communicate in ways we can hear.
The great mystery is our unwillingness to listen. Driven by our hell-bent pride, we believe that God’s voice is not real, or not valid, or not needed. Each excuse is invalid, of course, in the worst possible way.
JUDAH’S EXAMPLE IS OUR MIRROR
God repeatedly spoke through the prophet Jeremiah to His people … people whom He had chosen, led and delivered over and over again. But listen to the damning testimony of history.
“Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Go and say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, “Will you not receive instruction by listening to My words?” declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 35:13)
But I have spoken to you again and again; yet you have not listened to Me. (Jeremiah 35:14)
“Also I have sent to you all My servants the prophets, sending them again and again, saying: ‘Turn now every man from his evil way and amend your deeds, and do not go after other gods to worship them. Then you will dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your forefathers; but you have not inclined your ear or listened to Me. (Jeremiah 35:15)
Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the God of Israel, “Behold, I am bringing on Judah and on all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the disaster that I have pronounced against them; because I spoke to them but they did not listen, and I have called them but they did not answer.” (Jeremiah 35:17)
“Perhaps the house of Judah will hear all the calamity which I plan to bring on them, in order that every man will turn from his evil way; then I will forgive their iniquity and their sin.” (Jeremiah 36:3)
Now the king was sitting in the winter house in the ninth month, with a fire burning in the brazier before him. When Jehudi had read three or four columns, the king cut it with a scribe’s knife and threw it into the fire that was in the brazier, until all the scroll was consumed in the fire that was in the brazier. Yet the king and all his servants who heard all these words were not afraid, nor did they rend their garments. Even though Elnathan and Delaiah and Gemariah pleaded with the king not to burn the scroll, he would not listen to them. (Jeremiah 36:22-25)
But neither he nor his servants nor the people of the land listened to the words of the Lord which He spoke through Jeremiah the prophet. (Jeremiah 37:2)
When seen in such rapid-fire explanations, the evidence is overwhelming. God spoke with a singular, compassionate desire to bring His people to repentance. They paid no attention to His words. His only recourse was to bring further judgment. What do you do when your children do the same? You bring further discipline or give the ultimate punishment, i.e., leave them to their own choices.
ARE YOU LISTENING?
It’s the greatest question of your life. Are you paying attention to God? Are you in a posture to hear His voice? And when He speaks, do You respond with humble, instant obedience to His word? Obedience that indicated you knew that He was your Creator and Redeemer?
God has not changed. If you regularly ignore the One-Who-Speaks, you forfeit the ability to be led by God, and the results are disastrous.
Father, forgive me for the days I’ve not listened. Days I’ve charged into my morning without sitting before You with an open Bible and open heart. Forgive my prayerlessness, closing the channel that was opened by the sacrifice of Your Son. Convict my heart of the seriousness of this sin. Give me ears to hear and the wisdom to instantly obey.
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