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the ears of God

Anthropormorphic expressions  attribute human forms, acts, affections and characteristics to God and allow us to better understand and appreciate Him. They also help us relate to God as a personal Being.  Scripture is replete with references to the ears of God and that He hears everything.  Some of these passages are Gen. 16:11, Ex. 3:7, Neh. 14:27, 2 Sam. 22:7, 2 Chr. 7:15, Ps. 34:15, Is. 37:29, James 5:4, 1 Pet. 3:12.

God’s Hearing is COMPLETE (as to our Conversation).  

The Bible is crystal clear about the fact that God hears every word we say.  Moses said in Ex. 16:8… “The Lord hears your complaints which you make against Him…your complaints are not against us, but against the Lord.”  David wrote in Ps. 139:4… “For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.”  Jesus made this convicting statement in Matt. 12:36-37, “But I say unto you, that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”  

This again brings home the truth of that little chorus,… “Oh be careful little mouth what you say….”  We’ve seen many “hot mic” instances on television where someone is caught saying something profane or ill-advised when they thought no one would hear, but the microphone was on and they were ‘busted!’  Well, with God, the microphone is always on, and He will hold us accountable for every word.

There is a positive side to this, because God also hears every good word that we say that exalts Him and is edifying to others.  Malachi 3:16 says, “Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His name.”  Wow, that is encouraging!

God’s Hearing is CONDITIONAL (as to our Communion/Prayer).  

Three conditions must be met if God is to hear and answer our prayers.

*There must be a right Relationship.  

Prov. 15:29 says, “The Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous.”
1 Pet. 3:12 says, “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 

So how does one have a right relationship with God?  Jesus, referring to Himself in John 1:12 said, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.”  When one turns from sin in repentance and trusts in Christ alone for salvation, he is born-again into the family of God and is given all the rights and privileges of a child of God, which includes direct access to the throne of grace in prayer (Rom. 5:1-2, Heb. 4:16).

*There must be Obedience.  

Israel’s first king, King Saul, began his reign in humility with God’s blessing upon him.  But he quickly became self-serving, and often chose partial obedience or outright rebellion.  This hindered his prayer life as 1 Sam. 14:37 indicates… “So Saul asked counsel of God…but He did not answer him that day.”  Again we read in 1 Sam. 28:6… “And when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him by dreams, or by Urim, or by the prophets.”  Ps. 66:18 says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” 

On the other hand, the child of God who has confessed his sin, has been cleansed and is walking in the light, can lift up his prayers to God in confidence.  This is reflected in 1 John 3:22… “And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.”

*There must be Sincerity.  

God said through the prophet Jeremiah (29:12-13)… “Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you; and you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”  The New Testament affirms this same condition in James 5:16… “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” 

Of course, God being omniscient, not only hears our words as we are praying, but he sees the thoughts and intents of the heart, and He sees right through if we are being phony or insincere.  King Hezekiah prayed very sincerely and scripture records God’s response in 2 Kings 20:5… “Thus says the Lord God of David your father; ‘I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you.”  God isn’t impressed with phony pomposity, a flowery vocabulary, or simulated piety; but the sincere and fervent prayers that come from a broken and contrite heart will reach the ears of a loving and righteous God.

 God’s Hearing is COMPASSIONATE (as to our Circumstances).

*For Saints who are heavy Laden.  

In Psalm 34:6 we read, “This poor man cried out and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles”…and a bit later in the same chapter, v. 17, scripture says, “The righteous cry out and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.”  Jesus said in Matt. 11:28, “Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest…”  Do you have a heavy burden or find yourself in a desperate situation with no answer in sight?  The hymnwriter, Joseph Scriven, advised us in his classic song…

What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear;
What a privilege to carry, everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear;
all because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer.  

*For Sinners who are hopelessly Lost.  

The Bible says in Psalm 40:1-4, “I waited patiently for the Lord and He inclined to me and heard my cry.  He brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock and established my steps.  He has put a new song in my mouth, even praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.  Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust…”  

There is good news for those who are at the “end of their rope.”  Many are stuck in the pit, wallowing in the miry clay of sin with no seeming way out.  But God will hear the anguished cry of the hopeless sinner who will turn in humble faith to Jesus Christ for forgiveness and eternal salvation.  Jesus told of the humble tax collector who “would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven; but beat his breast saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner.’  “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified…”, Luke 18:13-14.  God is listening for the honest and humble cries of the repentant sinner.  It matters not one’s social standing, financial status, gender, age or past moral failures.  Scripture promises, “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”  Thank God for His compassionate hearing!

God’s Hearing Will Be CONCLUDING (as to Conversion)

As we have seen, the ears of God are listening for the prayers of his children, and for the humble cries of repentant sinners who want to be forgiven and eternally saved.  But dear friend, if you are still an unbeliever, there are 2 ways your opportunity to be saved can come to an abrupt end.

*By Death

The door of grace remains open during our lifetime, but closes at death.  That’s why the book of wisdom says, “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth,” (Prov. 27:1). 

Candidly, we all have a natural tendency toward procrastination, and that is perhaps the devil’s greatest tool.  That’s why it is said that “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.”  Many intend to eventually get serious about death and eternity.  But they want to ‘sow their wild oats first.’  If Satan can convince them to put off the saving of their soul until tomorrow, then “tomorrow never comes.”  That’s why Jesus warned in Mark 8:36, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” That’s why the apostle Paul wrote in 2 Cor. 6:2… “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

Every day we see fresh and vivid examples of the brevity and fragility of life.  Men and women, teens and children are suddenly snatched away by death.  It is so important to respond with haste to the Holy Spirit’s call; to repent of sin and trust in Jesus as Savior and Lord, before it is eternally too late!  “How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation…?” (Heb. 2:3).

*By the Lord’s Return 

The second thing that will close the door of grace to personal salvation is the any-moment return of Jesus Christ.  One-fourth of the Bible is prophecy.  The Old Testament predicted the first coming of the Messiah, and Jesus came exactly when and where it was prophesied.  The New Testament predicts the second coming of Jesus, only it does not specify when He will come. The Lord Jesus told the parable of the 10 virgins to illustrate this truth.

Jesus said there were 5 wise, and 5 foolish virgins. The wise virgins made sure they had plenty of oil for their lamps.  The foolish virgins did not. Scripture says… “And while they (foolish virgins) went to buy (oil), the bridegroom came, and those who were ready [wise virgins] went in with him to the wedding, and the door was shut.  Afterward the other [foolish] virgins came also saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open unto us!’  But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly I say to you, I do not know you.  Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.’” (Matt. 25:10-13).

Sadly, many will be left behind when Jesus returns, and the door will be shut.  They will have squandered their opportunity to be saved from eternal separation from God and everlasting punishment in the Lake of Fire.  Dear friend, if you have not yet been saved, stop everything, and run to the cross, make all haste to come to Jesus for forgiveness and salvation!  God’s hearing as it relates to conversion will someday come to an abrupt end, either by your death or His coming, and either of those events could happen anytime!  Read now: What If You Die Today?

Listening Ears

We have looked at some of what scripture says about the Ears of God.  Thankfully, His gracious ears are open now and listening to our every word.  Perhaps the question for us today is, are we listening to Him?  Eight times in the four Gospels, Jesus is recorded to have said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear”.  In the letters to the seven churches of Revelation, Jesus says to each church, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”  And again in Rev. 13:9, the apostle John writes, “If anyone has an ear to hear, let him hear.”  May God help us to have ears that are ready and willing to hear.

 

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