Wisdom for the Ages: Listen Up! Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Wednesday, February 7, 2018
This is devotional thought number 3 in our devotional series titled, “Wisdom for the Ages.”
“Wisdom calls out in the street, she shouts loudly in the plazas; at the head of the noisy streets she calls, in the entrances of the gates in the city she utters her words: “How long will you simpletons love naiveté? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? If only you will respond to my rebuke, then I will pour out my thoughts to you and I will make my words known to you. However, because I called but you refused to listen, because I stretched out my hand but no one paid attention, because you neglected all my advice, and did not comply with my rebuke, so I myself will laugh when disaster strikes you, I will mock when what you dread comes, when what you dread comes like a whirlwind, and disaster strikes you like a devastating storm, when distressing trouble comes on you. Then they will call to me, but I will not answer; they will diligently seek me, but they will not find me.” (Proverbs 1:20–28, NET)
Refusal Meets Respect
Have you ever tried to help someone who flat refuses to listen? More importantly, have you been someone others have tried to help, but you refuse to listen? God forbid!
God is patient, kind, and loving. He pulls out all the stops to teach us the ways of righteousness. The Holy Spirit entreats us when we are going the wrong direction. He arranges our circumstances to get our attention. Sometimes He does all of these at the same time, because we make it hard for Him to get through.
No one can measure the patience of God, but at some point, since He respects our individuality and power of choice, He allows us to go our way, even when it causes Him great sadness and us great harm. His patience can be exhausted when we persist in rejecting Him.
Stay Responsive. Stay Flexible.
How do we avoid exhausting God’s patience? “See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has an evil, unbelieving heart that forsakes the living God. But exhort one another each day, as long as it is called “Today,” that none of you may become hardened by sin’s deception.” (Hebrews 3:12–13, NET).
It’s simple, since God’s power is inherent in His Word, when He calls for us to do His will, we need to answer the call rather than to resist Him. The more we resist, the easier it becomes to ignore Him. Conversely, the more we listen to Him, the easier it becomes to do what He says.
While You Still Can
“Seek the Lord while he makes himself available; call to him while he is nearby! The wicked need to abandon their lifestyle and sinful people their plans. They should return to the Lord, and he will show mercy to them, and to their God, for he will freely forgive them.” (Isaiah 55:6–7, NET).
A word to the foolish is wasteful. A word to the wise is sufficient.