Don’t we all long for a conversation with God like Samuel had that night? To hear a voice audibly calling our name! Would we be like Samuel and think it was someone else, for us our spouse, the neighbor, or the television? We need to be listening. We need to be still.
I loved what Eli told Samuel after he realized what Samuel was hearing was the voice of the LORD himself. Then Samuel knew exactly what to say. “Speak, your servant is listening.” What a beautiful line we should all remember for when God calls out to us next time.
Today we read about how the Israelites wandered. If we wondered in our last reading how an 11-day trip could take 40 years, we see a bit of our answer in this passage. Have you ever gotten lost before when you were on a trip? How many miles did you drive out of your way before you realized your error? Sometimes we need to correct our direction in life, too.
I often heard the Bible referred to as our GPS. If you’re challenged with directions, you use a GPS to find your way. What I like about a GPS or mapping system is it often tells you the best route to take. You can decide between the fastest or shortest. The app I use even detects roadblocks and construction zones and gives me the option to reroute my course. And one of my favorite features is that when I do take a wrong turn, the app will tell me and figure out a way for me to get back on course.
The art of listening, and it is an art, is dying. Now that’s a bold statement and, if true, frightening. Today’s proverb is found in verse 13, “Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish.” Finding someone who truly listens can be hard. There are certain professions where the art of listening is key, such as doctors, lawyers, reporters, coaches, just to name a few. For them to be productive and successful in their jobs, they need to listen and understand those with whom they are interacting.
So often, people are either in a rush or too worried about
their own problems to be totally present with another human. How do I know?
Because I have been guilty of this. Listening is something I have to work on
every day. I have to control my mind and tell it to slow down. So many things are
rushing through my head, including things I could say or inject into the conversation.
If I don’t blurt it out, how will I remember it when they give me a chance to
We have been teaching our clients lately about establishing authority. It’s important in business for potential customers to see you as an authority, that is, knowing what you’re talking about. Here, the Pharisees are doubting the authority of Jesus. How crazy is that?! Granted, we know who Jesus is because we have the Bible.
When people question your authority or know-how, they aren’t very likely to listen to you. Think how much the Pharisees missed out on because they were not able to see what was right before them. It is a bit puzzling how the leaders with the most knowledge couldn’t see Jesus for who he was. They knew what they were looking for and expecting. They had access to all the Scriptures. Prophecies of old were likely passed down from generation to generation. Yet, their radars must have been turned off. Did God do that on purpose?
Have you had times in your life when you have felt far from Jesus? Maybe you’re still searching to know him more and longing for a deeper connection. We are living in a time when there is so much evil trying to take control. It is sometimes unsafe to even proclaim the name of Jesus. It’s sad when we see how Christians seem to have to refrain from any reference to faith. Take for instance school music programs or public displays. How many times do we even see lawsuits being filed because we upset someone who was not a Christian that shared our beliefs?
We need to take the words of Scripture seriously. Today’s reading starts with these words, “So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it.” There are answers, promises, and directions for life within the pages of Scripture, and we must cling to that truth as we live our lives. If we allow the temptations and ways of the world to infiltrate our beliefs and values, we will soon be selling our souls to the devil (so to speak). Continue reading “Hebrews 2:1-4 – Drifting Away”