Not Listening

I was going to come up with a witty story about this, but I want to open up with a story by Max Lucado:

“Sometime ago I did something I hadn’t done in years.  I listened to the airline attendant as she gave her warnings.  I normally tune her out.  I usually bury my nose in a book or magazine and ignore her cautions.  But this time I didn’t. I didn’t because the day before a commercial plane had gone down.  As I boarded the flight I realized that if this plane crashed I would not know what to do. So I listened.  As she held up a seat belt, I buckled mine.  As she described the oxygen mask, I looked up to see where it was stored.  When she pointed to the exit doors, I turned to find them.  That’s when I noticed what she notices on every flight.  No one was listening! No one was paying attention.  I was shocked. I seriously considered standing up and getting everyone’s attention and shouting, “You guys better listen up. One mishap and this plane becomes a flaming mausoleum.  What this lady is telling you might save your life!” I wondered what would happen if she used more drastic means.  What if she took a gasoline drenched doll and set it on fire?  What if the in-flight screen portrayed images of desperate people scrambling to deboard a blazing plane? What if she marched up and down the aisle yanking away the papers and snatching the magazines, demanding that the passengers listen if they wanted to survive this flying inferno?  She would have lost her job.  But she would be doing us a favor. Love cautions the loved.  The Book of Micah is a warning.  God’s prophet warns of the terrible judgment which awaits all who ignore God.  ‘Be prepared,” he pleads, and then explains how to prepare.  I wonder if he noticed what I noticed on the plane.  Most people don’t listen to warnings” (Adapted).

When you have a message that confronts people where they don’t want you meddling two things happen.  The first is that they get defensive.  The second is they tell you to stop talking because they don’t want to hear your negative talk. At the time of Micah, Israel was in a complete state of disarray.  The majority had moved to idol worship, they crushed the poor, bribed the judges, and committed human and civil rights violations. God has a message against this and Israel and Judah don’t want to hear it.

Micah says,

Look! The LORD is coming from his dwelling place; he comes down and treads on the heights of the earth. 4 The mountains melt beneath him and the valleys split apart, like wax before the fire, like water rushing down a slope” (Mic. 1:3-4, NIV).

Micah says, “He’s coming!  You can’t hide, you can’t stand…even the mountains melt in His very presence…and you have upset Him.  The people begin to chastise Micah and say, “Shut your mouth! Stop being negative and lying…even if you’re not lying be quiet!  We don’t’ want to listen! (2:6-11, my paraphrase).

Micah replies,

“The prophets say, “Don’t prophesy to us! Don’t prophesy about these things! Nothing to make us feel bad will happen!”7 But I must say this, people of Jacob: The Lord is becoming angry about what you have done. My words are welcome to the person who does what is right (Mic. 2:6-7)

and then,

“But you people want a false prophet who will tell you nothing but lies. You want one who promises to prophesy good things for you if you give him wine and beer. He’s just the prophet for you” (2:11, NCV).

Church, notice that God isn’t talking to some heathen, irreligious, horrendously immoral people…He’s talking to HIS people!  Does Micah’s message still apply to the church? I think so! What is God saying to you that you’re ignoring?  What are you using “comfort” or “pride” or “I know the Bible” or “tradition” to hide behind? I challenge you this week to listen.  You may not like what you hear, but you must hear it, and more importantly you must act. Don’t ignore God to keep yourself “feeling fine” or to avoid “negativity.”   You must listen and we must obey. Let us be the people who truly listen, church, not just,

“Merely listen to the word  and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1:22).

Hear the word of the Lord, church!  Let it spur you on to act and change…let God’s amazing grace transform your broken life into something beautiful.  Don’t be a “fan” of God, be a follower.  That’s my challenge to you this week. Just something to think about.                                                  – Scott

One thought on “Not Listening

  1. If you could hear my spirit, you would hear it screaming right now. I got ejected from giving out words to the church for conveying this message to the audience.

    Here’s a shocker worth pondering. Matthew 25 speaks of ten virgins, the church, all going to the same place, or so they think. 5 of the ten run out of oil, turn to the others and demand oil from them. The 5 that remained, having enough oil to last, were ready when the bridegroom came, while the others had to go look for more oil. I am not a mathematician, but that sounds like 50% to me. 50% of churchianity will not make the first bus out of town.

    I am not sure what the oil is, that is not clearly spelled out. There is probably a good reason for that, but what if the oil is: passion, zeal, fire, desire, an intelligent watching of what is going on around us, and the desire to bring a dying church back to life.

    Amen and amen.

    From a recent worship song. “I want to shout it out, from every mountain top .. your mercy knows no end.”

    Like

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