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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Sticking your fingers in your ears


I ran across an interesting translation of an old scripture this week that
stuck in my mind. The version you may be more familiar with is this one:
"But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped
their ears that they should not hear."(V11)

Here is the modern translation: "Your ancestors refused to listen to this
message. They stubbornly turned away and put their fingers in their ears to
keep from hearing. They made their hearts as hard as stone, so they could
not hear the instructions or the messages that the LORD of Heaven's Armies."
Zechariah 7:11-12 (NLT)

I can imagine a spoiled child (or adult), sticking there fingers in their
ears and saying, "Nah.. Nah. Nah. I can't hear you". I understand that we
may not actually do those things, but how often do we hear something from
God's Word and decide we don't like it, so we won't do it? Maybe it's a
"silent rebellion."

I read about an old Japanese legend that tells of a man who died and went to
heaven. Heaven was beautiful full of lush gardens and glittering mansions.
But then the man came to a room lined with shelves. On the shelves were
stacked piles of human ears! A heavenly guide explained that these ears
belonged to all the people on earth who listened each week to the word of
God, but never acted on God's teachings. Their worship never resulted in
action. When these people died, therefore, only their ears ended up in

All throughout my years of ministry I have continually encouraged people to
not only hear the Words of God, but to respond to those words with a changed
life. To do the things in this life God expects of a Christian. Too many
enjoy coming "to church," but then forget why they came. They hear the
words, but refuse to register them as something actually being required of
them in this life. They have put their fingers in their ears and have
"selective hearing" as far as responding to what is required by God.

I have shared many times the story of meeting a man and having a bible
discussion regarding a point on which we disagreed. I opened the bible and
pointed out a scripture that (in my mind) clearly stated the truth regarding
the subject. I asked the man what he thought and his response was, "I don't
know what it means, but it doesn't mean what it says." (Did I mention that
this man was a minister also?) To me it seemed as if he had stuck his
fingers in his ears and refused to listen to God speaking to him.

You see, sticking your fingers in your ears in not the answer, digging
deeper into the Word of God is! Here is how we should and must respond; in
Act 17:11 we read: "Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than
those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness
and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true."

Might I suggest using your fingers to turn the pages in your Bible, rather
than stop up your ears!

Russ Lawson

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