The Lord our God spoke to us in Horeb, saying: “You have dwelt long enough at this mountain. Turn and take your journey, and go to the mountains of the Amorites, to all the neighboring places in the plain, in the mountains and in the lowland, in the South and on the seacoast, to the land of the Canaanites and to Lebanon, as far as the great river, the River Euphrates.” (Deuteronomy 1:6-7)
As has already been addressed in previous devotions, “Without faith, it is impossible to please God” — and the words that Moses spoke to Israel required faith. He was speaking words that had to be “heard,” because as we know, “faith comes by hearing and hearing by Word of God.” So then, God declared that Israel was to possess the land of Canaan and upon hearing this, they should have been motivated to do just that. However, ten of the twelve spies saw the giants and, consequently, the people of Israel opted to hear the words of the spies. In other words, instead of internalizing the Word of God, they internalized the word of man — the result was unbelief.
Spiritually speaking, I would argue that it is more important to hear than it is to see. Think of how many times the Messiah said, “He who has an eye to see, let him see” compared to how many times He said, “He who has an ear to hear, let him hear.” Certain instantaneous impressions are received through sight but are not always trustworthy. In short, “Seeing isn’t always believing.”
Hearing, on the other hand, is not necessarily instantaneous but is subjected to analysis and scrutiny. Think of a traffic cop who reports to an auto accident. He listens to the eye witnesses who, “Surprise, Surprise!” oftentimes see different things. The officer, however, hears all the accounts, assembles the information and comes to a clearer conclusion as to what actually happened. The point is, we are told that faith comes by “hearing,” not necessarily by seeing.
Then there is this to consider: most people can “listen” but how many actually “hear” the message in the words spoken? In fact, when Yeshua said, “He that has ears, let him hear,” the implication is that many were listening but fewer actually heard what He was saying. To underscore the point He also said, “I speak to them in parables, because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not; nor do they understand” (Matthew 13:13). The reason for their inability (or unwillingness) to hear was because their hearts had become dull (Matthew 13:15).
That is what happened to Israel so long ago — their heart was dulled toward God’s Word when He said to “possess the Land.” Therefore, let us make certain that our ears are always inclined to hear what our Father has to say, that our hearts are tender and able to receive the Word and that our actions reflect what He has instructed us to do.
Blessings and Shalom,