Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hearers and Non-Hearers: Winners and Losers

“And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken evne that which he hath.” (Mark 4:24-25)

         Does it seem to you that God is more interested in how well we hear than how well we see? For instance, "If any man hear my voice”; "swift to hear"; "Faith cometh by hearing,” etc. In verse twenty-three, Jesus says, "If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” In other words, just because you have ears doesn't mean you actually hear. (Every mother knows this.) Not only that, not everyone hears the same way. As the old saying goes, “People hear what they want to hear.” But it’s even subtler than that. One old writer has rightly said, “There is no neutrality of hearing, because nothing is registered on a clean slate.” Our own character will filter, distort, or amplify anything we hear, and we will react accordingly. Moses and Joshua heard the same sounds as they came down from the Mt. Sinai with the tables of the Law, but Joshua, the warrior, heard “the noise of war”; while Moses, the leader, heard rightly, the sounds of merry-making.  

         The verse also tells us that the measure of our ability to give ear to God is the measure of what we will receive from Him: “Take heed what ye hear; with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you…” I must admit, though, verse twenty-five has always been somewhat of a problem for me. I understand how you can give to someone who already has something; but what can you take from someone who has nothing? Well, how about this: Hearers of the Word are continually receiving what God has provided for their spiritual growth; non-hearers, on the other hand, are not only deprived of this vital nourishment, but any spiritual gain they may have made in the past, is soon depleted, as well. In other words, they're losing ground all the time. This is serious business. When we no longer have ears to hear the voice of God, we are left with only a cacophony of this world's useless noise.
Everyone appreciates a good listener…especially God.

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