Glimpses 3 of 4 "The God Who Hears"

The God Who Listens

            The haunting words of, “Did you hear me?” rings through the ears of many mischievous boy’s and girls who have yet to discover the difference between listening and hearing. Think not that it is an easy lesson to learn, for many adults suffer cold nights on the couch and bitter reminders of the importance of a checkbook balance due to such a folly. Therefore, learn the lesson now, rather than later; “hearing is biological, and listening is optional” There is really no way around this truth, otherwise, how do you explain a perfectly good set of ears that do not perform the function in which the almighty creator purposed them to do. One must wonder, “How many problems could be resolved, if not only this distinction was understood, but also if more people realized the importance of choosing to listen?” Consider the world in which a man could be watching his favorite testosterone filled television show, and at the first word of his wife, he immediately focuses his attention on not only hearing but also listening. Consider the world in which rooms would be cleaned, ears would be washed, and curfews would be kept by those listening impaired children that we love. Before the wishful thinking sets in too deep, and creates a world in which few if any will ever enjoy, consider also a world in which God suffered from the same problem. Wow, life doesn’t seem so bad when we realize that it could be much worse if our Heavenly Father was plagued by some of the same destructive problems as His children. The book of Malachi records an interesting and rather encouraging truth in regards to God’s hearing. Obviously, a God who is spirit cannot possibly have the same kind of ears that our feeble and finite body’s parade; however, it may be for that reason that His hearing is without flaw, and inescapable. Malachi 3:13-18 makes known the side of God in which some shutter in fear over, and others jump for joy, namely, God hears and remembers.

            Malachi 3:13 records the following, “Your words have been arrogant against Me," says the LORD. "Yet you say, 'What have we spoken against You?’ It is of no surprise that when people are confronted by one in which no reproach can be offered, they quickly forget the lies that have been spewing from their very mouths. It has been said, “Oh how quickly we forget”, but maybe it should be added, “when we are wrong”. Nevertheless, it is quite possible that no one is exempt from such a defensive mechanism, wrong or not. The stage that has been set in the passage of our study is one in which the “people of God”, had been speaking wrongful things against God, but when confronted about such an act, a sudden case of amnesia has stricken them guiltless. The Lord quickly offers a helping hand, and reminds the people of the little details that were so hastily forgotten. Malachi 3:14 records the following, “You have said, 'It is vain to serve God; and what profit is it that we have kept His charge, and that we have walked in mourning before the LORD of hosts?” The first statement placed on the table of decision is, “It is vain to serve God”. So then, is it? Is it vain to spend one’s life serving the Church, spending sometimes three or four days doing activites, preparing for the Sunday School lesson, planning meals for the shut ins, arranging music for worship time; maybe so. However, the overwhelming difference is found in serving the church opposed to serving the head of the Church, Christ Himself. When one gazes into the eyes of He who gave His life as the payment for sin, He who wore the crown that brought blood to the skin, and He who conquered death that all could come in, the idea of serving becomes rather honorable! The remaining accusations that the Lord reminds the people of were clearly the deadly flower buds that stemmed from the first problematic perspective. Serving God is not a chore in order to receive a proper payment, but rather a privilege in response to a great and glorious God. It will truly be a sad day in which one is reminded of the lies that he or she spoke against the Lord, all because the giver of joy is mistaken for an occupational supervisor.

            Malachi 3:16-18 records the following, “Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard {it,} and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name. "They will be Mine," says the LORD of hosts, "on the day that I prepare {My} own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him." So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.” The point is rather simple, those who have a Godly fear, and serve God as one who is not ashamed, one who is not embarrassed, one who is not paying a debt, one who is not earning wages, one who is not completing a check list, but one who is completely in love, the work becomes worship and the words are heard and remembered. May God give us clean hands, pure hearts, and worshipful words!

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