“Yet ye have not hearkened unto me, saith the LORD; that ye might provoke me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt.”
Jeremiah’s prophecy against the people of Judah has one glaring alert as to why God was going to judge these people. Three times in this chapter God says that the people didn’t listen. Jeremiah said in verse 3, “…I have spoken unto you…but ye have not hearkened.” He said that the LORD sent His prophets to the people, “but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear.” In verses 5-6, Jeremiah said that the LORD gave to the people in an attempt to get them to come back to Him, but the verse above says that they “have not hearkened” unto the LORD. The whole reason Judah was facing God’s judgment and were going into captivity is because they wouldn’t listen.
Most of our troubles in life come from not listening. I remember when I was a boy my mother would often say, “Son, look me in the eyes when I am talking to you.” The reason she would say this is because she knew that distractions would keep me from hearing what she was saying to me. When my parents were going somewhere and leaving my siblings and me some chores to accomplish before they returned, they would often tell us to listen carefully. The main thing my parents were teaching during these times is the importance of listening.
Christian, are you getting yourself into trouble with God because you are not listening? Are you listening during the preaching and teaching of the Word of God? Most of our problems could be solved if we listened to those who are teaching God’s Word. Christians often go to their pastor to ask his advice only to hear the pastor remind them that he just preached about what they needed. Had they listened during church, they would have known what they needed to do. You must realize that every sermon or lesson being taught is an answer you need for some time in your life. If you will listen instead of getting sidetracked with thoughts of what you have to do when church is over, you will find that you could keep yourself from sin and heartache.
Moreover, if you listened to your spouse or parents, you could avert most of the misunderstandings that cause tension in your marriage or home. In this technological world, our attention is often more on what is happening on our phones or computers than listening to the ones we love. If you would put everything down and start listening, you might find that you could have those tender moments between your spouse and family members.
Furthermore, if you listened to your employer, you would find that most of the misunderstandings could be stopped. If you are not listening to what your employer or boss is telling you to do, you are going to miss the information you need to get things accomplished. You would accomplish more on the job and get in better favor with your employer if you listened the first time without letting your mind wander.
My friend, one of the greatest abilities you have is the ability to listen. My question to you is, are you listening? Let me encourage you to set all distractions aside and listen. Stop letting your mind wander when others are talking and listen. You will find more meaningful relationships, better communication, and fewer misunderstandings between all if you will just listen.