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::Devotional::’God Speaks Even If We Don’t Listen’

February 23, 2010

“Just Listen To Me!”  Have you ever said those words?  A desperate plea for that other person to take in what you’re saying and seriously consider it.  How long do you continue to speak even when you know they are not listening?  At some point, “talking to the wall” gets old and we give up.  Not so the Lord, He speaks even if we don’t listen.

Lately I’ve begun to study some of the Old Testament prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel.  Do you know what I find extremely common in these men?  God specifically told each one of them that they were going to be His spokesman to the nation of Israel yet emphasized the fact that the people would not listen.

  • To Isaiah He said – “These are rebellious people, deceitful children, children unwilling to list to the Lord’s instruction.” Isaiah 30:9
  • To Jeremiah He said – “They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you, declares the Lord.”  Jeremiah 1:19
  • To Ezekiel He said – “But the house of Israel is not willing to listen to you because they are not willing to listen to me, for the whole house of Israel is hardened and obstinate.” Ezekiel 3:7

These men carried messages from the Lord regarding His judgment and punishment of the sins the nation of Israel was committing, namely idol worship.  Not only did they face people who wouldn’t listen they also faced people who attacked them for what they said.  Tradition says Isaiah was sawn in two and the scriptures tell us Jeremiah was beaten, put in the stocks, and even left to die in the muddy bottom of a well.  Why go through all of this to proclaim a punishment?  What did God continue to speak even if they wouldn’t listen?  The answer is that God had hope for a small portion of the people, a remnant.  He knew that if he continued to speak, eventually some of them would listen and turn back to him.  Praise God for His patience!

Perhaps they will listen and each will turn from his evil way.  Then I will relent and not bring on them the disaster I was planning because of the evil they have done.  Jeremiah 26:3

It’s easy to relate to God when he declares punishment upon those people who refuse to listen isn’t it?  We’d all probably like to have a little more umph behind our “Listen to me or else” commands don’t you think?  However, this punishment of Israel’s sin which brought forth many deaths was not pleasurable for the Lord.  I don’t believe He received any joy or satisfaction in having to pour our judgment upon the people.  In fact, I believe God continued to speak to Israel long after He knew they wouldn’t listen because He loved them so much.

Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit.  Why will you di, O house of Israel?  For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!  Ezekiel 18:31-32

Listen to those words today my friends, they are the heart of the Lord.  God continues to speak even if we don’t listen for the same reason Jesus came to die on the cross – because He’s not willing that any should perish but that all would come to repentance and live!  Praise God for His unending patience and his unfailing love!

-Stay Rooted Col 2:7-

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