• Rev. Mark Tews

Hear and Heed: Part 1

We will learn from 1 Samuel chapter 4 that negative consequences can happen in our lives whenever we do not hear and heed God’s Word. God wants us to obey His voice always. First Samuel chapter 3 is all about the importance of hearing the voice of God. From the example of Samuel in that chapter, we learn that we must be sure of hearing God's voice and not the voice of the enemy, because there are many voices out there trying to get our attention. We must reject worldly voices of doubt and only focus on God's voice to direct our lives. When we hear God's voice clearly without any interruptions, we allow God's wisdom to flow in our hearts and lead us. Not only should we hear His message, but we must also receive and understand what God is speaking to us. When God's message enters our hearts, our character is transformed for the better and we are made fit for God's service. Finally, the process is incomplete if we do not share God's Word with others. We must share God’s Word with confidence and boldness and never add to or subtract anything from it.

What happens if we turn our hearing away from God and toward the worldly voices that lead us to destruction and sin? What happens if we close our ears to God's voice and reject His guidance? The negative consequences are beyond measure and truly devastating. Just look around and see how people's lives are being destroyed through immorality, the wastefulness of criminal behavior, and other sinful activities that are against God’s commandments. Why are so many people caught up in sin? Because of not hearing and heeding God's voice. They want to follow their own conscience rather than God. That is usually the case when people are in the depths of sin. Throughout the Bible, you can find many incidents of the negative consequences of not hearing and heeding the Word of God, and particularly in 1 Samuel chapter 4.

This chapter is one of the darkest moments of Israel's history as a nation. In this chapter, we read about the defeat of Israel as a nation, the capture of the Ark of God, the death of the two sons of Eli, the death of Eli himself, and the death of the wife of Phineas while giving birth. The conclusion in the last verse is that glory has departed from Israel. There is a lot of death in this one chapter of the Bible; it was a very depressing time for Israel.

Why did God include all this negative stuff in the Bible for us to read? To warn us and to teach us a very valuable lesson on the consequences of sin and disobedience. God wants us to learn from the horrible mistakes that His people have made in the past when they failed to hear and listen to His Word. God wants us to avoid repeating the same costly mistakes over and over again. He wants us to take seriously these lessons from the Bible and learn from them because we will be faced with (or may even currently be facing) similar situations and we need to know how to respond properly. Ultimately God's Will for us is to remain obedient to Him by keeping His Word, so that we can joyfully experience all of His many blessings through Christ.

The apostle Paul warns us concerning these things. “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” (Galatians 6:7). Whatever seeds we sow, we shall someday reap a corresponding harvest. If we sow seeds of sin, we shall reap its deadly consequences. But if we sow seeds of obedience to God's Word, we shall reap its many benefits and blessings. By your fruits you shall know them. Good seeds will always bear good fruits. Bad seeds will always bear bad fruits. (Matthew 7:15–20).

Open your hearts and minds always to receive God's Word, heed God’s Word, and learn from God’s Word how He loves you and wants you to be with Him in eternal glory.