Basket of Figs

Published 2001-09

Bud Powell

Trinity Covenant RCUS, Colorado Springs

 

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Incline Your Ear

 

Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live;-- Isaiah 55:3

 

We must stretch our ears out to hear what God has to say.  Because He speaks with authority it is very important for us to give Him our attention.  Modern man is careless in this, for he despises the gifts that God holds out to him.

 

How do we incline or “stretch” out our ear toward God?  This is a figurative expression, of course, but it means that we must be active and energetic in receiving God’s word.  It certainly means to read and meditate upon Scripture as David says, “I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.   I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.”  –Psalm 119:15,16.

 

It also means to take advantage of the ways that God has given to teach us His word.  It means to take advantage of the church and the faithful minister that God has given to us, so that we will be “no be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive…”  --Eph. 4.   Faithful ministers are sent by God with a message to men.  Because men treat God lightly, they treat His messengers lightly.

 

It means to partake of the sacraments, which God has given as a “visible preaching of the Gospel.”  If we “incline our ear,” the sacraments are very useful in building us up in the faith and knowledge of Jesus Christ.  This will mean that we must unite in membership with a local church that is structured according to the Scriptures so that we are under its discipline and care.

 

It also means to rejoice in fellowship with other Christians, whose counsel and advice will save us from error and foolishness.

 

None of these things—the sacraments, ministers, fellowship--or any other thing is profitable if we do not hear the word of God.  Those who “stretch” their ears toward God will turn away from fake ministers, ceremonies that are according to the imaginations of men, and fellowships that turn men away from what God has said.

 

The Bible is a long and sometimes difficult book, but it is not beyond the capacity of those who are earnest and diligent.  We cannot reduce its message to bumper sticker catch phrases or slogans.  Those who hunger and thirst, however, shall be filled. God rewards the hunger He stirs in us by giving us the Holy Spirit when we call upon Him.

 

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