“‘Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets proclaimed, saying, “This is what the LORD of armies says: ‘Return now from your evil ways and from your evil deeds.’” But they did not listen or pay attention to Me,’ declares the LORD. “
I can’t recall the number of times my parents told me to not do something. I heard them, but I did not listen. You see, I knew better than to do the things I was doing. I knew doing them would get me in trouble if I was caught. I got to be pretty sneaky. My mom and dad went to heaven not knowing about some of them. Hmmm, now that they are up there, do they know? Lol
The Israelite’s fathers did not listen or pay attention to the Lord’s commands. They heard them over and over again. They knew the Law. They knew the commandments. However, they chose to live as if they did not care. The Hebrew word for “pay attention” means to prick up the ears. Just picture a dog laying down and resting. When you call its name, what does it do first? It pricks up its ears. You see, the Israelites had not pricked up their ears to listen to the Lord.
What is the Lord telling us in this verse? Prick up your ears! Listen! Do what I say! Sounds easy enough, so why don’t we do it? Because we are just as stubborn as those Israelites who did not listen and pay attention. We want to do what we want, not what the Lord has instructed us to do.
Do you know what happened nine times out of ten when I did not follow my parents’ rules? I got in trouble. Yep, I usually was disciplined. Same is true when I don’t follow God’s rules. I find myself in trouble. God will discipline those whom He loves. Aren’t you glad? Probably not, if you are honest. But it is for our good. We know that, right?
Psalm 103:17-18 paints a beautiful picture of this. “17 But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting for those who fear Him, and His justice to the children’s children, 18 to those who keep His covenant and remember His precepts, so as to do them.” I can’t say it any better than that.
O Lord, I know Your commands are for my good. Lead me in the path that is true and right.