Amaziah was a deaf King. Well, he wasn’t physically deaf, he was spiritually deaf. He refused to hear the words of wise counsel from an unknown preacher. It’s interesting that the preacher isn’t important. He doesn’t have a name. He’s just called a prophet. It’s the message he brought from God that mattered. But Amaziah got angry because the message struck a little too close to home and he closed his ears and threatened to kill the preacher.  Amaziah interrupted the preacher in the middle of his sermon and said, “Who made you a royal counselor?” The Hebrew word for “Stop” that follows contains an exclamation mark in most translations. I believe it is best translated, “Shut up!” You can feel the indignation and the anger. He then says if you “shut up” you will live. The preacher stops his sermon and speaks directly to Amaziah. He says, “I know that God has determined to destroy you, because you have done this and have not listened to my counsel.”

We just don’t listen very well, do we? Eight times Jesus tells us that it’s not enough to just have ears, you must use them. He rebukes those who, for whatever reason, don’t hear what he’s saying. The Pharisees were especially singled out for their failure to “hear.” The Parable of the Sewer speaks to us of 4 different kinds of listeners. The first kind of listener doesn’t listen at all. He simply ignores what is being said.  Another kind, just pretends to listen. He nods and smiles and agrees, but the roots of God’s truth don’t sink in at all. Then there are those who listen for what they want to hear. They already have an agenda. They do not want new truth, they want affirmation of their own opinions. The truth is choked out because of other interests. Very few of us ever practice “hearing” the way Jesus wants us to hear. He wants us to focus our attention, listen with the intent to understand, trying to get inside of God’s frame of reference, seeking truth that will change our lives. He wants us to let the truth in, and let it bring forth much fruit in our lives.

Lucado observes, “Whether the cause be hard hearts, shallow lives, or anxious minds, 75 percent of us are missing the message. It’s not that we don’t have ears; it’s that we don’t use them.”

“But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7(NLT)