"… I would not hear," says the LORD of hosts,- Zechariah 7:13b (ESV)
One of Robert Grey's best kept secrets is his hearing aides. Those little devices that people hide in their ears so they can hear what people are saying to them. Robert has had one in both of his ears for years but he has hid them so well that no one has ever noticed and up until last weekend they had never been a problem.
Last weekend, Robert decided to take a bunch of the boys from church on a fishing trip, a trip that turned into a nightmare for the boys. In deciding where to go, Robert decided the best place to take them was deep into the back waters on his favorite fishing lake. He was sure that all the boys would have a good chance to catch some big ones.
Getting to the fishing spot with the boys was no problem in his fancy fishing boat and soon everyone was having a great time, or at least the boys were. Robert was not enjoying himself like he thought he would and it was probably due to the fact that the boys kept bonking him in the head with their fishing poles.
Once, Louie hit him in his right ear and knocked his hearing aide out and it fell in the water. “At least I still have one in my other ear.” Robert thought to himself but the next thing he knew, it was in the water too. This time it was Barney's fishing pole that hit him. Not wanting to tell the boys about losing his hearing aids falling in the water, Robert just sat silent and hoped nobody was asking him anything.
Late in the afternoon the weather started to change and before long it a light mist filled the air. Soon the boys were complaining about getting wet and wanting to go home. Of course Robert couldn't hear a word they were saying and kept giving them weird answers in hopes that one of them might make sense. When it started to poor, Robert finally decided to head for shore. He had the boys put their fishing poles away and pull up the anchor and away they went.
As they broke into the open a very strong wind gust hit them and blew Roberts glasses off and into the water. Not only could Robert not hear the boys yelling at him, now he couldn't see where he was going. Before he knew it, he was heading in the wrong direction. To make matters worse, He was heading right towards the dam.
As the boys began too panic a miracle happened, or at least they thought it was. The boat ran out of gas and with a little bit of help from the wind they somehow managed to drift right to the landing. When they hit shore, Robert quickly jumped out of the boat and headed to where he thought he parked his truck. Luckily all the other trucks had left and he somehow found his. Once inside the truck he found his back up hearing aides and another pair of glasses.
To keep the boys from knowing he hadn't been able to hear them he asked them if they wanted to go for another wild ride. Those boys replied by getting the boat out of the water and onto the trailer in record time. “I guess that means no!” Robert said and jumped in the truck and took off. The boys hollered at him to wait for them but Robert never heard them – he forgot to turn his hearing aides on. As the boys watched Robert pull away, Harold said “It will probably be safer for us to walk home anyway.” to which the rest of the boys said “Amen!”
How often do we compare God to Robert Grey? You may say never but think again. Robert couldn't hear and if we admit it or not we may often think God doesn't hear either. That was the cry of Habakkuk’s prayer at the beginning of his book. - How long, O LORD, will I call for help, And You will not hear? I cry out to You, "Violence!" Yet You do not save. Habakkuk 1:2(NAS)
From Habakkuk’s standpoint things looked pretty bleak. God had abandoned Israel. All of Israel was in turmoil while the enemy was ruling over them and the enemy was getting by with their wickedness. Habakkuk couldn’t take it any longer and cries out “Why aren’t you listening God, Why aren’t you hearing our prayers.”
For us, it may sound more like this - Nothing is going our way, work is a bother, money is scarce, friends and family are getting on our nerves, our dreams are becoming nightmares as sleepless nights are chasing us down. Not even God seems to care. We pray, but get no answer and in frustration holler toward the heavens with a clinched fist “Why aren’t you listening God, Why aren’t you hearing my prayers.”
Like Robert, there are times that God does not hear, not because of a missing hearing aide but because of us. Think about these verses...
- Proverbs 21:13 - If you refuse to listen to the cry of the poor, your own cry for help will not be heard. (TEV)
- James 4:3 - You ask and don’t receive because you ask wrongly, so that you may spend it on your desires for pleasure. (HCSB)
- Proverbs 28:9 - If you refuse to obey what you have been taught, your prayers will not be heard. (NCV)
- Isaiah 59:1-2 - Look! Listen! GOD's arm is not amputated—he can still save. GOD's ears are not stopped up—he can still hear. There's nothing wrong with God; the wrong is in you. Your wrongheaded lives caused the split between you and God. Your sins got between you so that he doesn't hear. (MSG)
- Zechariah 7:13 - "As I called, and they would not hear, so they called, and I would not hear," says the LORD of hosts, (ESV)
- Matthew 6:5,7 - “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites. They love to stand in the synagogues and on the street corners and pray so people will see them. I tell you the truth, they already have their full reward....“And when you pray, don’t be like those people who don’t know God. They continue saying things that mean nothing, thinking that God will hear them because of their many words. (NCV)
- James 4:2b - You do not have, because you do not ask. (ESV)
If we want to pray to be heard by God we need to examine ourselves for God needs no hearing aide.
Here's something to Ponder
- Do you want to be heard when you pray?
- Are you keeping yourself from being heard?