Thursday, February 11, 2016

Zechariah 7:8-13 -- On Opening our Ears and our Hearts

"And the word of the Lord came unto Zechariah, saying,
Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother:
And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.
But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear.
Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the Lord of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the Lord of hosts.
Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the Lord of hosts:"
Zechariah 7:8-13

This is an interesting reminder that we need to listen to the prophets.  In the first verse, God speaks to Zechariah, telling him the message that he wants to give everyone.  And so, Zechariah gives that message.  But the people refuse to listen, and do everything they can to ignore that he is even speaking.  The outcome is that God withdraws from them as they withdrew from him.
Sometimes we think that ignoring the prophet isn't the same as ignoring God, and we justify ourselves saying, of course, if God himself told us what to do, we would do it immediately.  I think what we're missing sometimes is that God *is* speaking to us, through the prophet.  God works through the scriptures and through his prophets, and through other people.  Although God does speak to us directly sometimes, we have to be in a spiritual place to be able to hear him... which requires listening and being open to messages from God in many ways, like through the scriptures and the prophets.
Today, let's open our ears and our hearts and work on listening to God, in whatever way he is speaking to us.  Let's not focus on the frailties and imperfections of men or translations.  Let's not justify to ourselves that God isn't actually the one sending us a message... because that isn't true.  God works with imperfect men and imperfect words.  Otherwise he wouldn't be working with us at all, would he?  And still, through his spirit, God's message always comes through perfectly clear, if we are in tune and listening.  Let's not close our ears or our hearts or our minds to God's message.  Today, let's listen to the Lord, and in turn have the magnificent blessing of his listening to us.

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