“Can You Hear Me Now?”
By Jim Schneider, Executive Director
Many can relate to speaking with someone who is in an area not properly covered by cell service. You’re on the phone with them when, suddenly, they start going faint or their speech begins to break up. You state, “I’m sorry I can’t hear you. You’re breaking up.” The individual will move a short distance and ask, “Can you hear me now?” The conversation is good for a time when again they move out of a good signal area and begin breaking up. You repeat an earlier statement, “I’m sorry, I didn’t get that. Can you repeat that? You’re breaking up again.” In just a few short moments we will again be asked, “Can you hear me now?”
At times this becomes quite frustrating as it becomes difficult to have a conversation. We wonder if the person is truly receiving the message we are seeking to communicate.
At other times we try to communicate, but the intended recipient is off in another world or preoccupied in another task. We’re tempted to ask, “Can you hear me now? Did you know I’m talking to you?”
Throughout the Scriptures there are many illustrations that demonstrate this very matter. The Apostle Paul under inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (II Timothy 4:3-4)
Indeed, it seems clear that we are living in such a time; a time when many have turned their ears away from the truth and are being swallowed up by the deception which is being spewed by the god of this world.
As a nation we are disintegrating fast. The foundation from which our country was built is quickly crumbling. Our nation has succumbed to deception and is actively engaged in direct defiance against God. We’ve mocked and blasphemed His Word. We’ve prostituted what God calls “marriage,” “male” and “female.” The church in the broad sense has abandoned its mission. Many a churchgoer desires to have their ears tickled. They want to be entertained. They want to hear how good they are and how to be healthy and wealthy.
The prophets of old recognized this same plight: recognizing people had ears, but did not hear. They did not listen to what God had to say.
Jeremiah called out warnings, “To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it.” (Jeremiah 6:10)
Ezekiel encountered a rebellious people, “Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house.” (Ezekiel 12:2)
The word of the LORD also came under Zechariah, “But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear.” (Zechariah 7:11)
Even Jesus spoke about a wayward people, “For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” (Matthew 13:15)
It is not uncommon for us to look back at these people and condemn them for being so foolish for not listening to God, or for not listening to the prophets that He put in place to proclaim His Word.
Over and over God gave opportunity to the children of Israel, but they refused to listen and wandered in the wilderness for 40 years.
God warned through the times of the judges who brought deliverance to the oppression they faced, but after each judge the people again “did that which was right in their own eyes.”
God warned through multiple prophets to stop backsliding and to return to God, but they would not listen and as such God brought judgment upon them.
I’m wondering how many times a day God looks down on us, and asks the question, “Can you hear Me now? Will you listen to what I have to say?”
God has provided His written revelation to us. Are we reading it? Are we obeying it? Are we hearing it? To hear implies obedience to what is written.
May we recognize the blessing of hearing, “Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.” (Proverbs 8:34) Not only is there blessing, but there is also wisdom in listening. “The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise.” (Proverbs 15:31)
Following the letter to the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3, the plea to hear is repeatedly given, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” (Revelation 3:22)
With all that is happening in our world and the attacks on morality, decency, the family, and the church, are you listening? “To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” (Hebrews 4:7b) As you consider the Lord speaking to your heart, may you consider your response to this all-important question, “Can you hear Me now?”