When We Don't Listen

When We Don’t Listen
Isaiah 6:8-10
Deacon George Miller

Isaiah, like many of the other prophets, was sent to tell the Israelites to repent from their sinful ways and return to the laws of God.  When we read and study (there is a difference between the two terms) the disobedience of the Israelites, it’s easy to say how horrible and disobedient they were when God had given them specific instructions (God’s Law through Moses) on what to do and what not to do.

We then have the audacity to say, why didn’t they listen and do what they were told to do, OR if it had been me, I would have listened and been obedient, Really?!? – I think if we are honest with ourselves, we would realize that we are current day Israelites, (disobedient, stiff-necked, idol worshippers). The result of self-examination is often ignored, because the truth pierces to our core.
I remember as a child growing up and witnessing the “Loving” chastisement administered to my sisters by my parents, it was always preceded by, “Mama, I heard what you told me do”, which Mama’s response was, “but You weren’t listening”. (I always tried to profit from the mistakes of my sisters, though not always successful).

For the sake of clarity. Let’s agree that while Webster presents distinct differences between the terms Listening and Hearing, for the sake of this writing and the manner in which the Bible refers to them, we will agree the terms are interchangeable. Like the Israelites, we usually don’t differentiate between “Hearing” and “Listening”.  Hearing is the ability to process or power of perceiving sound. Listening means to pay attention to sound with the intent of giving consideration or responding to the sound.

In Verse #8, Isaiah hears the voice of the Lord, then he acknowledges and responds to the sound by saying, “Here I am, send me”. Isaiah represented one of several prophets with the same objective, to persuade the Israelites to hear and/or listen, to repent and turn back away from their sinful acts. While God sent Isaiah with the message of repentance, he already knew the people would not repent despite numerous attempts to convert them. The goal for them, as with us, is to change our sinful ways and return to God!

John 10:27. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”
John 8:47. “Whoever is of God hears the words of God. ...
Romans 10:17. So faith comes from hearing and hearing through the word of Christ.

We have the benefit of the Bible, to study and learn from others’ past mistakes. The sins committed by the Israelites then, are some of the same sins we are guilty of today. God is giving us an opportunity to repent and to change our ways, ask for forgiveness and cease placing any other idols (money, homes, cars, family, jobs) before him. If you read the entire chapter, you will find that time has basically run out for the Israelites, destruction is coming. When God speaks to you/us ... Listen, while you still have time!

Lord, we humble ourselves to you, praising you, glorifying you and thanking you for life and the opportunity to be of service to you. Father, please continue to teach us to not turn the volume of your voice down when you speak to us, so that we not only hear from you, but we listen and obey. In the precious name of your son, Jesus! Amen.
Posted in ,

1 Comment

Rev. Deborah Rozier - March 16th, 2023 at 2:25pm

Thanks for definitely the difference between Hearing and Listen. I tell people that so much.