“And thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD; If ye will not hearken to me, to walk in my law, which I have set before you,”
When I was a boy, my mother would every once in awhile say to me, “Son, are you listening to me?” When she said this, it wasn’t that I was not in her presence, but it was that I was in her presence, but for some reason, she didn’t feel that she had my attention or that I was actually hearing what she was saying. Whenever my mother would make this statement to me, she was emphasizing that she wanted me to hear her.
God was saying the same thing to His people in the verse above when He said, “If ye will not hearken to me…” Twenty-three times in the Book of Jeremiah, God used the word, “hearken.” God is interested in not only His people being where they are supposed to be, but He is also interested in them hearing and doing what they are supposed to hear and do. Many believers are in church, or they read the Scriptures, but they are just like I was when I was a child whose body is present, but the hearing ear and the attentiveness are not present. The word “hearken” has several definitions that shows what God wants from the believer.
First, hearkening to God means to give your attention to or to give audience. God wants your attention. When you read the Scriptures, God not only wants your eyes perusing over the words, but He wants your mind’s attention to the words He is trying to say to you. Every time you open the Scriptures, you need to hearken to what you are about to read and not only give audience to God, but also give Him your attention.
Second, hearkening to God means to listen. Let me ask you; are you listening to what God is saying to you when the preacher is preaching? Are you listening to the silent voice of the Holy Spirit who is prodding you in those silent times when you are alone? You will never hear God’s directing voice if your mind is already made up when He speaks to you through His Word or His servants.
Third, hearkening to God means to give heed. Giving heed to God means you are doing what He wants you to do. It means to pay attention to what He is saying so that you don’t have to suffer the consequences of not heeding to His Words. It is certainly a good thing to hear what God is saying, but it is better to take heed and do what He tells you to do. Hearing what God is saying without heeding it is detrimental to you and those you love.
Fourth, hearkening to God means to comply. If you are truly hearkening to God, you will submit yourself to His words. James 1:22 says, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” Hearkening to God means you are willing to change any area of your life to conform to what He is telling you to do. Let me ask you; is there some area of your life where you tell God that you won’t do that? The degree to which you are willing to comply to God’s Word and will is the degree to which He can use you. Wherever your line is that you stop complying to God’s Word is the line to which He stops using you and the line of disobedience to God.
My friend, God wants you to hearken to Him. He wants you to not only listen to what He is saying, but He also wants you to do what He is telling you to do. Let me close by asking; are you hearkening to the voice of God?