Selective Hearing

Proverbs 28:9, NIV
“If anyone turns a deaf ear to the law, even his prayers are detestable.”

Just as we can turn a ‘blind eye’ to things we don’t want to see, we are all capable of selective hearing – of only listening to those things that we want to listen to! Most of the time this is a harmless and sensible way of coping with the myriad sounds that try to invade our personal space and get our attention. But on occasions, we can use this capacity to close our ears and act as if we are deaf in a way that is potentially lethal.


If, for example, you were driving along the motorway and were starting to pull out into the fast lane, and you suddenly heard a loud car horn blasting you from the rear, you would be extremely unwise to ignore it! The sound of the horn was a warning that you were pulling out in front of another faster-moving vehicle and unless you swung back into your own lane there would be a terrible accident. It would not be sensible to turn a deaf ear to the sound of the horn, carry on with your intention to pull out into the fast lane and at the same time pray that the Lord will keep you safe!


The Word of God and the law of God are sometimes like the blast of a horn, warning us of the dangers of what we are thinking of doing. If we turn a deaf ear to what God is saying  and carry on regardless, but still praying for God’s protection and blessing on our lives, it would be as stupid and dangerous as the car driver who ignored the warning blast of a horn from another driver.


Our Scripture for today tells us that when we deliberately turn a deaf ear to the things that God has spoken in His law and carry on regardless, but still praying for God’s blessing on what we are doing, then our prayers become detestable to Him. Why should that be? Well, consider for a moment that you are choosing to give in to a temptation to do something sinful, but at the same time you are daily praying for God to bless all the things you are doing, how can it be anything else but detestable to be asking God to bless those things that Jesus died to save us from?


Our daily prayer should be:

Lord, open my eyes and open my ears to see what you’re doing and to hear your voice. When you speak, Lord, I choose to listen. I want to walk in obedience to you. I choose to love, serve and obey You with a glad heart today and every day. In Jesus’s Name. Amen.

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