Listening without Hearing

“…for Herod was greatly disturbed whenever he talked with John, but even so, he liked to listen to him.”  —  Mark 6:20

Herod’s illegal marriage to his brother’s wife, Herodias, was public knowledge. One man made Herod’s sin a public issue. That man was John the Baptist.

Herod liked John. But the truth about his sin was a bitter pill to swallow, and Herod wavered at the point of conflict: He couldn’t afford to have John constantly reminding the people of their leader’s sinfulness, but he was afraid to have John killed. Eventually Herodias forced his hand, and John was executed. Of course, this only served to increase Herod’s guilt.

When Herod and Jesus met briefly during Jesus’ trial, Jesus would not speak to Herod. Herod had proved himself a poor listener to John, and Jesus had nothing to add to John’s words. Herod responded with spite and mocking. Having rejected the messenger, he found it easy to reject the Messiah.

For each person, God chooses the best possible ways to reveal himself. He is persuasive and persistent, but he never forces himself on us. To miss or resist God’s message, as did Herod, results in tragedy.

What is God saying to you today? Are you hearing…or merely listening? How aware are you to God’s attempts to speak to your life?

Hearing God in these days is monumentally important. We are in the last moments of history. God is speaking the last words before He takes His people home. Don’t be caught listening without hearing!


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