Proverbs 28:9-10, NIV
“If anyone turn s a deaf ear to the law, even his prayers are detestable. He who leads the upright along an evil path, will fall into his own trap, but the blameless will receive a good inheritance.”
When someone is said to turn a deaf ear to something, it doesn’t mean that they are deaf and can’t hear! It simply means they are choosing to ignore what’s being said. God’s Word very clearly expresses both God’s heart of love for mankind and in His law He shows us how He wants us to live. The ten commandments are referred to in Deuteronomy 4:13 as God’s covenant. God’s covenant is an expression of His loving provision for His people. There can be no confusion over what His Word says – especially in the fundamental areas of morality.
But when faced with temptation people have to make choices in many areas of their lives. They know that choosing to walk in God’s ways is the way to enjoy His blessings for, as the second part of our Scripture says, ‘the blameless will receive a good inheritance’. Most believers also know that sin has its consequences as well. But few people realise that in addition to the direct consequences of sin, which is rebellion against God, there is a serious secondary consequence of deliberately turning a deaf ear to God’s Word in order to commit sin – our prayers are no longer acceptable to God.
This truth was spoken out by the prophet Isaiah, at a time when God’s people were in serious rebellion against Him. ”When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers I will not listen.” (Isaiah 1:15). So when we turn a deaf ear towards God’s Word and deliberately choose to flaunt His laws, then God responds in like manner – He no longer listens to our prayers. This is a principle that applies to individuals, organisations, congregations and, even, nations, as the people of Israel found out to their cost on numerous occasions.
Often people ask, “Why doesn’t God answer my prayers?” While there may be many different answers to this question, the one answer we don’t want to hear could be that God is turning a deaf ear towards us because of our deliberate sin! When our behaviour tells God that we don’t really care about Him, then it is not surprising that our prayers become an offence to Him. It’s not that God doesn’t love us and is not interested in our prayers, it’s simply that our actions towards Him are speaking louder than the words we might say to Him.
If we want to regain a place of authority in prayer so that we will know about and experience the power of prayer at work in our lives, then let’s determine that the actions of our lives and the words of our lips are truly in harmony with each other. When they are God has no problem in hearing and answering our prayers! But when our actions are speaking a different language from our lips, then we are in great danger.
Prayer: Thank You Lord for showing me that there can be a relationship between what I do and whether or not You hear and answer my prayers. Forgive me, Lord, for the times when I have deliberately chosen to sin at the same time as thinking you should be answering my prayers. Help me, Lord, to live my whole life in harmony with Your Word so that I can be a person of spiritual integrity and know the blessing of answered prayer. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.