“And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.” Isaiah 6:9
Job asks a rhetorical question in Job 12:11a, “Doth not the ear try words?” so it is that our ears “try words”, then our brain processes and digests those words. In the verse above, God is commanding Isaiah to “tell” Israel His words, but he knows that they are not going to listen. Isaiah’s day is much like it was in Amos’ day (and today); there was a “famine… of hearing the words of the LORD” (Amos 8:11). We need to be like Isaiah and Amos, regardless of whether or not people listen, because there is mandate for preaching God’s word, as a call for any man to “believe”. Preaching God’s word also justifies his condemnation upon the disobedient, because they can’t say that they hadn’t “heard”.
“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?” Romans 10:14, 15a
Isaiah 6:9; is the most often quoted verse in the New Testament! Some variation of this verse is found in at least six places in the New Testament and three in the Old. Jesus quotes this verse (Isaiah 6:9) as the reason for him speaking in parables and gives the following explanation to his disciples.
“For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” Matthew 13:15
Don’t miss the connection between one’s ears and eyes, to their heart! Notice that even the word “ear” is inside the word “hear”, and notice that both words are inside of the word “heart”. Jeremiah wrote, “Mine eye affecteth mine heart…” (Lam. 3:51); so our ears and our eyes are gates to our heart, and our sovereign will, dictates the messages and images that are either rejected or accepted into our heart. Just as Job pleaded with his friends to “Hear diligently my speech” (Job 13:17a), so should we “diligently” hear God’s voice! Since we often hear things that we really don’t understand; Jesus puts a special emphasis on listening, not only to “what” we hear, but also “how” we hear it.
· “Take heed what ye hear…” (Mark 4:24)
· “Take heed therefore how ye hear…” (Luke 8:18)
With the New Year upon us, maybe it would be a good time to take spiritual inventory of your life and ask yourself, “when was the last time I heard from God”? If your answer to that question is “a long time ago”, or maybe “never”, why don’t you get quiet and do what Israel should have done; accept Jesus? It would be the greatest decision of your life to obey another form of the word “ear”; and that is “hearken”. Friend, God the Father said of Jesus, “This is my beloved Son: hear him.” (Luke 9:35b), won’t you heed God’s desire for us and accept his invitation? Don’t let your ears be dull of hearing any longer, “hear ye” his “voice” and opening the door of your heart, and he “will come in”!
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20