ITCHING EARS

The Bible warns of a time when “…men will not put up with sound doctrine.  Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”  2 Tim. 4:3-4  That time is upon us!  Look around!  Listen to the relentless rhetoric of the day!  It’s all about inclusion and tolerance.  The calls are all beckoning us to lay aside truth and “go along to get along.”

Projecting himself into those times, Paul cautioned Timothy and us, “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.”  (v:5)  Paul was saying, “We have a job to do.  We have obligations to fulfil to the God who created us.  We dare not drop the ball.”

The people of Israel had a severe case of itching ears. And they dropped the ball.  (Isaiah 30)  Gods indictment against them was that they continuously sought out the counsel and protection of Egypt instead of trusting in Him.  They “…carry out plans that are not mine, forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit, heaping sin upon sin; they go down to Egypt without consulting me; who look for help to Pharaoh’s protection, to Egypt’s shade for refuge.”  (v:1-2)

People with itching ears become obstinate.  They only want to hear what they want to hear to affirm their own human desires.  Many today are affirming lifestyles and embracing policies based upon “itching ears.” They are like the people of Israel: “They say to the seers, ‘See no more visions!”  (Don’t keep telling me the truth of God’s Word.) and to the prophets, ‘Give us no more visions of what is right!  Tell us only pleasant things, prophesy illusions.’  (…tell us only what we want to hear.)  Leave this way, get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!”  (Get out of my life and leave me alone!)  (Isa. 30:10-11)

Because of their obstinance, God left them to their own devices.  “Therefore, this is what the Holy One of Israel says: ‘Because you have rejected this message, relied on oppression, and depended on deceit, this sin will become for you a high wall, cracked and bulging, that collapses suddenly, in an instant.  It will break in pieces like pottery, shattered so mercilessly that among its pieces not a fragment will be found…  In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.”  (v:12-15)  God always has the last word.

Lovingly, God still appeals to us: “My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands.  Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding.  Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding.  Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures.  Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God.  For the Lord grants wisdom!  From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”

(Proverbs 2:1-6 NLT)

Be blessed my friend.

Glen (Pitts)

The Barnabas Group  (Loads of Love)

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