THE ABILITY TO HEAR AUDIBLY DOES NOT GUARANTEE THE ABILITY TO UNDERSTAND SPIRITUALLY
Just because one can audibly hear a preacher does not mean that he understands his message. Time and again the Bible echoes the words, “he that hath ears to ear let him hear!” This is not a reference to the audible hearing capabilities of men but rather the spiritual. On one occasion our Lord said, “Why do ye not understand My speech? even because ye cannot hear My word!” [John 8:43] That did not mean that they could not hear Him audibly, in fact they heard it so clearly that they wanted to kill Him for what He said. But they could not perceive the spiritual meaning of His Words! They were not His sheep as He asserts – “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” [John 10:27] They were not His sheep! [John 10:26]
“What a sad thing it is that so many are rich in all things except the one thing necessary. God has given them abundance of earthly possessions, but He has not given them eyes to see His bounty, nor ears to hear His voice of love, nor a heart to perceive His Presence in the mercies which they enjoy. Such see the harvest, but not the Great Farmer! They enjoy the fruitful seasons, but take no delight in the Giver of the rain and the Sender of the sunshine! What a sad condition to be in! Alas, poor rich man! He has so much and yet so little! And what a lamentable sight is the educated man of this world who is learned in all the lore of the ancients and versed in all the science of the moderns! He, who has pried into the secret chambers of knowledge and has observed the skill of the Eternal in the starry heavens and in microscopic life–and yet, with all his attainments, has no knowledge of his Maker–and will not accept the evidence of His Presence!” – C.H. Spurgeon
“The word “hear” [an Hebrew idiom] signifies to receive and believe — compare John 9:27; 10:3; 12:47; Acts 3:22, 23, etc. And why was it that these Jews “could not hear” His Word? It was because they were children in whom was no faith [Deuteronomy 32:20].
It was because they had no ear for God, no heart for His Word, no desire to learn His will. Proof positive was this that they were dead in trespasses and sins, and therefore not children of God. Unspeakably solemn is this. Hearing God’s Word is an attitude of heart. We speak now not of the Divine side, for true it is that the Lord Himself must prepare the heart [Proverbs 16:1] and give the hearing ear [Proverbs 20:12].
But from the human side, man is fully responsible to hear. But he cannot hear the still small voice of God while his ears are filled with the siren songs of the world. That he has no desire to hear does not excuse him, rather does it the more condemn him. The Lord grant that the daily attitude of writer and reader may be that of little Samuel, “Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth!” [1 Sam 3:10] “And when He putteth forth his own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him: FOR THEY KNOW HIS VOICE! And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they KNOW NOT THE VOICE OF STRANGERS!” [John 10:4,5]” [A.W. Pink]
The Psalmist wasn’t born deaf and yet he thanks the Lord saying, “mine ears hast Thou opened!” [Psalm 40:6] Oh what a blessing it is to have our spiritual ears opened to hear the things of the Spirit! As it was with Lydia whose heart the Lord opened, so beginning at regeneration all through the life of the child of God the Lord graciously (as seemeth good unto Him) openeth both the eyes and ears of His child to perceive the things of the Spirit, and without this ‘opening’ the Book of God and every minister whom he hears will make little sense to him.
And hence the prayer – “Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law!” [Psalm 119:18] And again, “Cause me to hear Thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in Thee do I trust!” [Psalm 143:8]