Listen and Learn

Tim Savage

"He tells us everything over and over - one line at a time, one line at a time, a little here, and a little there!" So now God will have to speak to his people through foreign oppressors who speak a strange language!" (Isaiah 28:10-11)
Israel was a country who often had a hard time listening to their God. At times, under the leadership of good kings and prophets, they were close and obedient, but usually they were distant, selfish and rebellious. God's chosen people often chose not to follow the instruction and direction of their spiritual leaders, but instead follow their own wants and desires.

Isaiah describes this dysfunctional relationship in a way that hits close to home. He says that our Heavenly Father explains to us His message again and again and again, over and over, and yet we don't listen or learn. Sadly, that rings familiar in my own life sometimes, I can hear messages over the weekend several times, I can be given direction and instruction in meetings and classes and I can receive guidance through my devotions, but too often, it goes in one ear and out the other. The direction is there, it's provided, but I choose to follow my own desires and cravings, missing God's best in my life.

Isaiah's teaching doesn't stop there, however, there's more and it's important. If we don't learn the lessons or follow directions, God will allow pain and consequence to teach us. Historically, in Israel, other countries would come in attack, conquer and oppress them for decades. This painful process would draw the Israelites back in to a closer relationship with God and eventually lead to their freedom and salvation.
So much lost time and potential, and when I look at the time I have left, I can't afford to rebel and miss the mark. I don't want to face the consequences of pain and struggle because of bad choices. As Isaiah said, we hear His voice again and again, through so many different avenues and we need to choose to follow, no, not just follow, but relentlessly pursue His will. We need to put distance between us and the consequence of selfish desire.
Dear Heavenly Father,

Please forgive me for the many, many times I hear Your message and yet I choose not to listen. Your grace is overwhelming and I am ashamed to take advantage of it too often. Grant me the strength and courage to listen, learn and act on Your will.

In Jesus name,


Devotions for July 16

Isaiah 25,26,27,28
Hebrews 13

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