November 22, 2009
He who planted the ear, does He not hear? He who formed the eye, does He not see? He who disciplines the nations, does He not rebuke? He who teaches man knowledge -- the LORD -- knows the thoughts of man, that they are but a breath. Psalm 94:9-11
There are times when my wife tells me she's talking, but I'm not listening.
It is at such times that the story of King Alfonso of Spain comes in very handy. Alfonso, who ruled that grand nation from 1866 to 1931, had many admirable qualities.
Music appreciation, however, was not one of those qualities.
The truth is Alfonso was so tone-deaf that he hired an individual who became known as the "anthem man." This man's job description consisted of one thing: he was supposed to call the king to attention whenever Spain's national anthem was played.
Because of Alfonso's disability, it was impossible for the monarch to recognize the tune.
Now I've noticed many other people seem to have a similar complaint. No, not when it comes to music. Music people remember. Trivia people remember. TV shows people remember.
People seem to have their greatest difficulty in listening to the Lord. In His Word He speaks to us, but many prefer to ignore, deny, and disregard what He says.
This is just one more reason I give thanks for the greatness of our God. The Psalmist said it well: "He who planted the ear, does he not hear?"
The Lord does hear and His hearing is not based on how much we listen to Him. No, the Lord is glad to hear the pleas of our hearts; He listens to the words on our tongue. He knows the requests we are thinking, even before those thoughts are fully formed.
He who has made us, who sent His Son to be sacrificed so we might be saved, stands ready to listen to everything -- anything -- we have to say.
So, if I might play the part of the anthem man for just a moment . . . if you have up to this point in time, been tone deaf to the words of the Lord -- it may be time to start paying attention.
God has something to say, and if you really do listen, you may realize God has given you good news of great joy: you have a Savior who loves you very much.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, I am grateful You hear my cries, my laughter, my joys, and my tears. Now may I, in gratitude for all my Savior has done, be just as ready to listen to You. May I appreciate and cherish the wonderful good news that comes in my crucified and risen Savior. In His Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries