On occasion, I have to ask people to repeat what they say to me. It seems I don’t always hear clearly. Now I know why.
As part of the ongoing testing to discover the source of my dizziness and lack of balance, I was sent to an audiologist to have my hearing tested. Part of the testing confirmed that my left inner ear is not functioning properly because of a viral infection. But the testing also revealed that I have lost some of my hearing. The doctor who went over the results with me this past week said it was probably due to being in an industrial setting. Sure enough, he was on the money. I spent seven years during and after college working in a steel fabrication shop.
Now it’s one thing when you are unable to hear. It’s quite another matter when you choose not to hear.
In the Old Testament, the prophet Zechariah explained that God spoke to his people Israel on a number of occasions. He encouraged them to be honest, kind, and merciful (Zechariah 7:9-10). Sadly, the people did not listen.
But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears that they might not hear. They made their hearts diamond-hard lest they should hear the law and the words that the Lord of hosts had sent by his Spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great anger came from the Lord of hosts. (Zechariah 7:11-12, ESV)
It is not that they were unable to hear the message. Rather, they made a conscious choice to ignore what God said. It was as if the people stuck their fingers in their ears and sang, “La la la la,” so as to drown out the words of God. It was as if they encased their hearts in Kevlar vests to prevent themselves from feeling sorrow over their wrongdoing.
People might become frustrated if they have to repeat themselves a few times because an individual cannot hear their words. But God becomes angry, and rightfully so, when we choose to ignore what he says.
May we have ears to hear and hearts to obey what God instructs us to do.