Todays readings.. 1 Samuel 1, Isaiah 46&47, Revelation 3&4
“HE WHO HAS AN EAR LET HIM HEAR”
Don’t we all have ears!? Yes – but how do we use them? And eyes – and see with them!? Our human nature is such that we usually only hear and see (& read) what appeals to us!
It is how we think, the attitudes that develop in our minds, that motivate us in what we choose to hear. If our minds are totally (or largely) focussed on this life – we will only hear and look at – things on which our minds are focussed. Our minds have become like modern cameras, they develop an ‘automatic’ focus for the things we want to see – and hear! This meditation is both simple – and yet – profound. How few are thinking ‘through’ the evidence – and seeing – the eternal meaning of life today? There appear to be increasingly few.
Our thoughts were propelled along these lines as we completed reading the letters to the seven churches in the 2nd and 3rd chapters of Revelation.
The believers in each church are challenged – “He who has an ear, let him hear.” The seventh church is portrayed as saying, “I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing …” [v.17] – their “hearts” have not absorbed the words and warnings of Jesus, their ears heard – and yet didn’t! We have a saying – ‘it went in one ear and out the other!’
We need to think deeply about the ‘picture’ language employed here: is not this the ultimate parable of Jesus! Verse 19 takes our thoughts to the relationship – and inter-reaction – between Jesus and his disciples. He said to them, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.” All 12 had occasion to repent – but for one it was too late! Judas came and declared to those who had given him money to lead them to Jesus by night, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” [Matt 27 v,4] His ears had heard the words of men more clearly than those of his Master. Jesus had taught, ” “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” [Matt. 6 v.24]
We all have “an ear” to “hear.” But what do we listen to? Our world’s ‘words’ become ever louder in our ears – and seen – with our eyes. Jesus counselled that seventh church in Laodicea, ” I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.” [v.18] and we can add, ‘and hear.‘ Are not the minds of the world today ‘naked’ and their ears deaf!!
Our minds are ‘naked’ if this world dominates – and therefore – penetrates our ears and our hearts and minds. Let us become ‘rich’ – that is, “rich in faith” (James 2 v.5) ” so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” [1 Peter 1 v.7]
May we all have “an ear” with which to “hear” and hearts that are, as a result, motivated by God’s word.