Listen Attentively

Proverbs 1:24-27 

24But since you refuse to listen when I call and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand, 25since you disregard all my advice and do not accept my rebuke, 26I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you—27when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you.


All Christians are instructed to go and make disciples. And, a vital part of making disciples is to share the gospel of Christ with potential disciples. You might have tried sharing the gospel of Christ to your friends or relatives. Were you thrilled telling them about Jesus; or, have you personally run into some kind of unforgettable experiences?

Were you confident when you explained the good news of salvation? Have you been rejected? Will you share the gospel of Christ again, if given a chance to witness? We can be rejected, even by relatives or friends. It’s a reality that believers have to accept.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the truth; and, whatever he says is true. He had declared in Luke 4:24-27, 24“Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. 25I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. 26Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. 27And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.”

Did Elisha pray that the Lord should send him only to individuals who will listen to godly counsel? The Lord had done wonders through Prophet Elisha, but the Israelites did not benefit. Elisha may have counseled the Israelites, but they ignored him. He may have shaken his head when the Israelites didn’t listen to his counsel.

  1. Listen

24But since you refuse to listen when I call and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand, 25since you disregard all my advice and do not accept my rebuke.

Listen: The term “since” implies recollection of refusal to listen to godly wisdom, not paying attention to productive result, disregard of advice, and rejection of rebuke. God is the source of godly wisdom and he certainly takes it very seriously when his counsel is disregarded. He remembers anyone who rejects him very precisely.

Pray that you may hear when God speaks. Unfortunately, the natural tendency of humanity is to reject him. No sinful human would pay attention to godly wisdom. So, it should not be surprising that even close relatives and friends will readily ignore the gospel of Christ, unless of course the Holy Spirit regenerates them first and foremost.

The natural instinct of humanity is to welcome anything worldly, anything that is not obviously godly in nature. Have you not observed that many individuals are easily amused when you praise them? Even if they sense that your compliment is not a very sincere, even if they know that you are just flattering them, they gladly welcome it.

King Ahab

Here is a Scriptural story where false prophets complimented Ahab King of Israel.

King Ahab sought the help of Jehoshaphat King of Judah to join him when they go to war against the Arameans. King Jehoshaphat agreed; but, he told King Ahab, “First seek the counsel of the Lord.” King Ahab asked 400 false prophets, “Shall we go to war or not?” and, they answered him, “Go! The Lord will surely make you victorious!”

The false prophet may have thought that if they declare victory for King Ahab, it will happen because they agreed with each other. They were unanimous. Did the false prophets intentionally flatter King Ahab so that he will reward them?

However, King Jehoshaphat asked King Ahab if there’s still prophet of the Lord in Israel. It says in 2 Chronicles 18:7-8, 7The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, “There is still one prophet through whom we can inquire of the Lord, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.” “The king should not say such a thing,” Jehoshaphat replied. 8So the king of Israel called one of his officials and said, “Bring Micaiah son of Imlah at once.”

Jehoshaphat King of Judah readily listens to godly counsel; in contrast, Ahab King of Israel readily listens to false prophets who flattered him. Ahab hated Prophet Micaiah who rebuked him. The 400 false prophets tried to intimidate Micaiah to agree with their declaration of victory for King Ahab against the Arameans; but, Micaiah said that they cannot win against the Arameans. He advised the Israelite soldiers to go home instead.

King Ahab ignored the counsel of Micaiah; and, they went to war against the Arameans. As expected, he died in battle. His tragic death biblically illustrated what can possibly happen to anyone who disregards and rejects godly wisdom. Godly wisdom laughs when disaster strikes the foolish for not paying attention to godly counsel.

  1. Laugh

26I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you—27when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you.

Disaster, calamity, storm, whirlwind, distress and trouble are never mysterious to anybody. Struggles in life are realities. Sometimes, difficult challenges serve as warning for us to recalculate our journey in this world. Nobody can avoid problems common to mankind (recession or economic problems, pandemic, deterioration of health, failure to advance to our chosen career). But, we can still joy and peace and not distressed, right?

King Solomon must have realized it very clearly. He advised in Ecclesiastes 7:14, 14When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.

In North America, we experience four seasons (winter, spring, summer and fall). In winter, there’s blizzard or snow storm. In spring, there’s flood. In summer, there’s heat wave. In fall, you sure love colorful leaves in autumn? Storm, flood, heat wave are natural disaster. In different part of the world, they have to overcome annual disasters.

There are region where they are frequently visited by earthquake, tsunami, tornado, hurricane, typhoon, forest fire, locust infestation and many other disasters.

Can you peacefully accept that God has caused those natural calamities to happen? The Lord has designed series of problems to happen in this imperfect world. So, where can we find perfect life without problem? God reserved perfection in heaven.

Problems may cause distress. When in distress or burdened by problems, our Lord Jesus Christ offers rest in him. Yet, still many believers have not maximized Christ’s offer of rest, just yet. He invites us in Matthew 11:28-29, 28Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Pandemic, economic crisis, natural calamities or man-made problems can cause restlessness. The term “soul” pertains to “the seat of affections, will, feelings, desires, fears or aversions” in us. The inner part of our being that senses encouragement and drive to keep on is our soul. Our soul is vital part of us that senses discouragement and fear so that, we hesitate to do things and avoid it, if we sense some sort of restlessness.

When we are working and we are tired, we have to take a break and rest, right?

Our Lord Jesus promised “rest” for our soul. The “rest” he gives isn’t just taking a break from tiredness. “Rest” that Christ promises to give is more of refresher that can invigorate, energize or revitalize all believers who take his yoke. The “yoke” of Christ is his word that the Holy Spirit uses to guide us to experience fullness of life. It says in

Psalm 19:7-8, 7The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.

With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can personally understand that God’s law is his instruction that refreshes our weary soul so that we keep on our godly lifestyle. His word is not limited to refreshing our weary soul. It also causes us to be productive.

Remember and meditate Psalm 1:1-3, 1Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 2but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. 3That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.

Listen: Believers who live in godly lifestyle are blessed or experience extreme happiness. Godly lifestyle does not walk in step with the wicked, or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mocker.

Godly lifestyle follows godly instruction; and, what happens when we have a lifestyle in accordance to the instruction of the Lord. We become productive.

The “term, “prosper” includes “profit,” “success,” “break out” or “advancement” of career of believers who delight in God’s word and meditates on it day and night, not just one time or once a week. Try it yourself for one year and observe the difference in your life, mindset, attitude and outlook in life. Ask the Lord to help you cheerfully meditate on his word. You may read, memorize and meditate Psalm 1, 19, 23. When you find rest in the word of God, share it with others what you personally proven.

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