Friday, November 25, 2005

The Benefits of Listening

Hear, O My people, and I will admonish you!
O Israel, if you will listen to Me!
There shall be no foreign god among you;
Nor shall you worship any foreign god.
I am the LORD your God.
Who brought you out of the land of Egypt;
Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.
(Psalm 81:8-10)
Oh, that My people would listen to Me,
That Israel would walk in My ways!
I would soon subdue their enemies,
And turn My hand against their adversaries.
The haters of the LORD would pretend submission to Him,
But their fate would endure forever.
He would have fed them also with the finest of wheat;
And with honey from the rock I would have satisfied you.
(Psalm 81:13-16)
God has something to say, and if we will listen, it will do us a world of good. It is a word of advice, caution and promise. Look at the benefits:

1. Freedom From False Gods. “There shall be no foreign god among you, nor shall you worship any foreign God.” Psalm 115 briefly describes what it is like to be enthralled to foreign gods:
Why should the Gentiles say,
“So where is their God?”
But our God is in heaven;
He does whatever He pleases.

Their idols are silver and gold,
The work of men’s hands.
They have mouths, but they do not speak;
Eyes the have, but they do not see’
They have ears, but they do not hear;
Noses they have, but they do not smell;
They have hands, but they do not handle;
Feet they have, but they do not walk;
Nor do they mutter through their throat.
Those who make them are like them;
So is everyone who trusts in them.
(Psalm 115:2-8)
Those who make idols are just as helpless as the idols themselves; those who worship are just as powerless. Not so for those who listen to the LORD! He alone is God and no other voice compares to His.

2. Covenant With the True God. If your listen to the Lord, we will hear Him say: “I am the LORD your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt.” The Hebrew name behind “LORD” is Yahweh, the personal name of God, the name by which He reveals Himself in covenant with His people. He is the God who delivers and sustains His people.

3. Filled With Good Things. “Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.” God is not out to scold you but to bless you. So open your mouth, enlarge your expectation and look to Him to provide for you in every need and desire.

4. All Enemies Subdued. “I would soon subdue their enemies, and turn My hand against their adversaries.” There may be people out to get you, and they are, in that sense, enemies. But our real adversaries are spiritual: satan, who the accuser of God’s people and the thief who comes to steal, kill and destroy; sickness and disease; poverty and lack; anger, lust and greed, etc. God is able to subdue them all, and if you will learn to listen to His voice and walk in obedience, you will see all these enemies vanquished in your life.

5. Sustenance, Sweetness and Satisfaction. “He would have fed them also with the finest of wheat; and with honey from the rock I would have satisfied you.” God has reserved the finest and the best for His people, and it begins here and now. Divine provision and rich fulfillment!

All those who receive the Lord Jesus Christ are well able to hear His voice, for He promised, “My sheep hear my voice” (John 10:27). If you will hear and observe to do, you will be building your life on a firm foundation, that will withstand every adversity:
Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock; and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. (Matthew 7:24-25).
It is all about hearing the voice of God, believing what He promises, and doing what He says.