Listening seems to be a lost art and a forgotten skill which needs careful development to be good at it.
The Lord God Almighty is gracious, merciful, and kind. He hears us when we call to Him, He listens when we incline our hearts to Him. This is a characteristic of God – He always bends in a posture of listening to his creation.
This is the reason why, as creatures in the image of God, we were meant from the very beginning of creation to listen. But after humanity fell into disobedience, people have the tendency to talk more than they listen, to even refuse to hear what another is saying. People even completely ignore God when He is speaking.
The ancient Israelites were fickle in their attention to God. When things were bad, they cried out to Him. And because God listens, He heard and responded. But when things were better, the people went about their business and forgot about Him.
It was God who sent judges, rulers and leaders, to the people for their own welfare. But we get this comment in the text of today’s Scripture: they were quick to be unfaithful and to refuse even to listen these judges.
Listening just wasn’t of value to the Israelites. They talked and talked, and so could not hear what God or his appointed rulers were saying.
We are to listen well, because God listens well. We are to pay attention and hear because we are designed by our Creator to do so. Perhaps our society would not be so perpetually upset and polarized if we would just take the time to listen well.
Today, take a posture of listening. Take just 10 minutes and don’t talk, don’t read, don’t check your phone, don’t do anything but just listen to the sounds around you. What do you hear? What do you think God is saying to you through those sounds? How does He want you to respond?
God of all creation, you have made me with two ears for listening. Help me to so hear and distinguish you through creation and the voices of others so that I will follow you with confidence in my daily life through Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen.