My brother and I have been memorizing Scripture together. Every Saturday I email the verses I have learned to him over in Iraq, and whenever he can he sends an email to me with the verses he has memorized. Currently we are working on Psalm 40, and as I thought about it today, it seemed a perfect passage to prepare our hearts for our corporate hearing of the Word tomorrow.
Today I was meditating on Psalm 40:4-8. This is a bit of a difficult passage, as can be seen by comparing some different translations, so I did just a little bit of study on it to help myself understand it. The thought of v. 5 connects with v. 4, expressing the blessedness of God’s protection. God did not forget David (i.e. God’s thoughts were toward him). He did many mighty deeds of deliverance for David, more than David could even recount. Because of this, David expressed total consecration to the Lord in vv. 6-8. In v. 6 he is probably talking about the sacrifices offered after the victorious military campaign. David realized that it was not the mere presentation of the ritual offerings that God really wanted; it was a total personal commitment to God. That commitment showed in that David had open ears. The idea is that David listened to and internalized God’s will. His total commitment to God meant that he listened to what God had to say, and he then responded by complete obedience. He passionately desired to do God’s will.
This little passage really is a beautiful expression of total consecration to God. These words were applied to Christ in Hebrews 10:5-7. That is the challenge for you and me as we meditate on this passage. When we think about the great deliverance that God has worked in our lives, we should be moved to listen intently to God’s Word, to meditate carefully on its meaning, and to passionately obey God’s will.
Let's think about "open ears" and our time of corporate worship tomorrow.1. Notice that God gives open ears. Pray that God will give you open ears. The most terrible fate of anyone would be to hear the Word of God while having heavy ears (Isa 6:10; Jer 5:21), for when the life-giving Word falls upon ears that will not hear, it is God's judgment.
2. Notice that open ears are the manifestation of and the gateway to a consecrated heart. Do we approach the hearing of God's Word with an utter abandonment to his will? Hearing God's Word this way is an act of total worship, complete consecration to him and to what he wants from us. And when we receive God's Word this way, it takes up residence in the core of our beings, so that every thought and action becomes a conduit for expressing the passionate commitment we have to obey God.
I'm looking forward to a gathering of consecrated ears tomorrow!