“He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.” (Proverbs 28:9)

The verse for our consideration today sets before us the vital importance of being attentive to the Word of God. In an age in which the still, small voice of God’s Word is increasingly drowned by the incessant cacophony of temporal voices, it is needful for us to be reminded of the essential nature of tuning our ears to hear the voice of God.

The Choice

The verse of our text sets before us the choice of an individual to turn away his ear from hearing the Word of God. How does one engage in such an act? I believe there are several ways in which this choice is enacted. 

By Willful Absence from the Sanctuary (Hebrews 10:25). The primary focus of the local church is the preaching and teaching of God’s Word. When we willfully absent ourselves from a service which we could attend, we are choosing to turn away our ears from hearing the law. 

By Willful Negligence in Scripture Reading (Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1:1-2). As a Christian we have a need, yea, a responsibility to daily partake of the Word of God personally. When we allow the busyness of life, the weariness of the flesh, or the pursuit of pleasure to hinder us from time in the Word of God, we are guilty of turning away our ear from hearing the law.

By Willful Rejection of Scriptural Truth. When we reject the truth of God’s Word as being applicable to us personally, we choose to turn away our ear from hearing the law.

The Consequence

We must always be mindful of the truth that choices are accompanied by consequences. Along with the choice that is spoken of in our text, there is a consequence which follows, “Even his prayer shall be abomination.” What a tragic result for the individual who refuses to hear the Word of God.

An Almighty Who is Offended. When we turn our ears from hearing God’s Word and then seek His help in our lives, it is disgusting to God. The reason being that the very Word from which we have turned was given to us to help us in preparation for the situation in which we find ourselves.

An Appeal that’s Repulsive. When we have turned from hearing the Word of God, the calling out for Divine intervention in the affairs of life is an odious and offensive thing in the eyes of God. 

An Answer that’s Unavailable. As a result, there is no answer to our cry. In turning our ear from the voice of God, we discover that God has turned His ear from our voice. We are left to rely on our own resources to deal with the situation. 

Knowing the uncertainty of life and understanding how quickly an unexpected situation can arise, I want to be on speaking terms with God. When an emergency arises, I may not have a lot of time to set things right; therefore, I want to tune my ear to hearing the law so that my prayer will not be offensive to God. “He shall pray unto God, and He will be favorable unto him” (Job 33:26).

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Craig Burcham, GSBC Faculty

Bro. Burcham served as the Chairman of the Bible Department at Golden State Baptist College before answering the call to pastor the Mountain Vista Baptist Church in Sierra Vista, AZ. Pastor Burcham travels each week to teach the next generation at GSBC. Before coming to GSBC, he served as a missionary with his family in Japan for several years and then pastored in Missouri.