The Illusive Un-Hasty Heart
I've been fascinated in the last several months with how many times the Bible encourages us to stop, listen, hear, and take heed to the Word of God, the Bible. We think that simply reading the Bible and agreeing with it is all that God requires, or that this kind of simple agreement is adequate. Not so! I've been noticing how many times God exhorts us, by his apostles and prophets, to listen, to take heed, to look at, ponder, think – and to do so un-hastily. This morning I was reading Isaiah 32 and there it was again. Isaiah is speaking of a coming day when God’s people would listen carefully, slow down, hear and listen and obey His voice.
“Then the eyes of those who see will not be closed, and the ears of those who hear will give attention. The heart of the hasty will understand and know, and the tongue of the stammerers will hasten to speak distinctly.” (Isaiah 32:3-4 ESV)
Notice that there is a coming day when those who do not see will see, those who have ears will begin to hear, those who are too quick will take time, hearts that do not understand will understand, with the results that will be able to speak clearly the word of the Gospel. Clearly proclaiming is the result of listening and stopping and hearing and seeing and understanding.
I’ve bolded a phrase, “The heart of the hasty will understand and know.” Listening carefully takes careful attention: not distracted attention, not multi-tasking attention, but godly focus. And I don’t think it necessarily means hours upon hours, although quality time does entail quantity. We’ve heard that our children need quality time and that it also means quantity time, it must be true for God. So fight for it. Let other things remain undone so you can listen. Slow down, turn off the social media, the television, unplug the computer. Sit down with a pad of paper, your Bible, some good lighting and listen as you read. Pray as you read, ponder, think about God and you, repent, be encouraged, grab unto His promises. Think, as Paul instructs in 2 Timothy 2:7, and the Lord will give you understanding, noble plans (Isaiah 32:8) and your life will speak in distinct ways about the ways of God.