April 12 – Devotion

Date: April 12, 2017

Bible Reading: Psalm 95 and Hosea 11:12—13:16

Today, if you hear his voice,/do not harden your hearts, (Psalm 95:7-8a, ESV)

Statistics taken from the National Institute on Deafness show that approximately 26 million American adults, ranging in age from 20 to 69 years old, experience some level of hearing damage because of loud noise (www.activebeat.com, 3/05/17). Those noises cause damage to the nerve hairs in the inner ear. Over time, this can result in one becoming hard of hearing. What loud noises are we allowing to harden the ears of our hearts so that we no longer hear our God speaking?

The psalmist points to the noise of quarreling and complaining to which the early Israelites had listened (vv. 8-9). How often do we complain when life is difficult and relief is not immediate? Do we join in quarreling and criticizing a God-appointed leader when we do not agree with that leader? Is God’s past provision forgotten? Have we become “grumbly hateful rather than humbly grateful”? All through Hosea 12 and 13, as Hosea handed down God’s indictment against the Israelites, he listed noises that were hardening their hearts. They were deceitful liars and full of violence. A former pastor of mine said, “Satan was a liar and the father of lies, and we are never more like Satan than when we lie.”

Rather than trusting God for protection and deliverance, they were making alliances with ungodly powers. Greed made a loud noise. Their merchants were dishonest and took advantage of others. Pride and self-sufficiency clamored. What might we be proud of: intellect, appearance, position, power, or wealth? Idol worship shouted louder and louder. They grew to love their idols. How careful we must be about what or whom we worship. The best gifts God gives us can become idols capturing all our energy and affection. The final hardening was open rebellion. God’s word, both written and spoken, was disobeyed. A heart so hard that it cannot hear God speak does not develop all at once.

“Oh come, let us sing to the Lord;/let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation” (Ps. 95:1, ESV).

There is a remedy for hard hearts that cannot hear God speak. It is both preventive and curative. Choose to sing! Why should we sing songs of praise? We sing to God because of who he is. We sing to him out of gratitude for forgiveness and salvation. We sing to him because he is always truthful. We sing songs to him because he is our great shepherd who leads us and provides for our every need. We must sing songs to him because he tells us to. I love the words Paul wrote to the Ephesians instructing them to address “one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord” (Eph. 5:19, ESV). How grateful I am for music memory. I can sing hundreds of songs in my head; I can sing with choirs I have heard through the years. When I am in a quiet place, I can sing, and he hears me.

Prayer for the Journey: Oh, Jesus, thank you for all the reasons for singing you give me. Forgive me when I do not praise you. Protect my heart today; keep it vibrating with your truth. I want to hear you speak.

Prepared by: Mary Simpson

One Response to “April 12 – Devotion”

  1. Debbie Keen says:

    A devotion after my own heart, Mary! Thank you!

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