Listen... and Act
Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. (James 1:22-26)
There are times in the Bible where we read about people who went ‘to inquire of the Lord.’ Here are two examples:
Now it came about after the death of Joshua that the sons of Israel enquired of the LORD, saying, "Who shall go up first for us against the Canaanites, to fight against them?" (Judges 1:1)
The people enquired of the Lord in order to determine who should be their king: Therefore they inquired further of the LORD, "Has the man come here yet?" So the LORD said, "Behold, he is hiding himself by the baggage." (1 Sam 10:22)
People expected answers when they ‘enquired of the Lord’. We see, also, that they acted upon the information they were give. They ‘listened’ to God.
The word ‘listen’ in the Bible isn’t just a simple hearing with ears; implicit within that word is that it is followed by action.
In Genesis 25 we read these words:
Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord.
The Lord said to her,“Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger.” (Genesis 25:21-23)
In Rebekah’s discomfort, she, like others, enquired of the Lord and He answered her. Before the twins were born, the Lord predicted that Esau would serve Jacob (Genesis 25:23). However, subsequently, it would seem, that Isaac and Rebekah didn’t ‘listen’ to what they had been told.
There came a time when Isaac was very old; he wanted to bless Esau. God had told them ahead of time that ‘the older will serve the younger.’ Perhaps along with his failing eyesight and bodily strength, his spiritual acumen was also failing. But we know that Rebekah understood the situation and, rather than go and remind Isaac of the prophesy so that God would fulfil it his way, she turned to deception. This failure to ‘listen’, to act upon what she knew resulted in two decades of enmity between the brothers, with Jacob having to flee for his life from Esau. Sadly also, we never read that Rebekah saw her beloved son Jacob again.
It’s not enough to ‘hear’ what God says. We need to ‘listen, and that means acting on what He says. When we do, we find the kingdom of Heaven reigning in our lives, and we live the victorious life God Has planned for us”
Someone once said:
“Listen for God
Listen to God
And then do what He says”
This is a word for us today.
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