Listening to God

Posted by Karah

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How often do you really listen for God? Start your time with Him today in prayer, but also sit in silence before Him. Ask Him to help you hear Him speak through His Word.

Think about a time when you tried to warn someone about some danger, but that person wouldn’t listen to you. How did you feel? Jot down words or phrases that describe that moment.

Often, we treat God’s warnings the same way. Read Nehemiah 9:29-31 in your Bible, then re-read verse 30. Because of the Israelites’ continual disobedience to God, they were exiled to Babylon, leaving Jerusalem in ruins. Nehemiah served as the leader who worked to restore the city and lead the people.

“You were patient with them for many years, and Your Spirit warned them through Your prophets, but they would not listen. Therefore, You handed them over to the surrounding peoples.”

—Nehemiah 9:30

• Examine the Israelites’ responses to God’s actions. Why wouldn’t they listen? When has that described you?

• The prophets’ messages were inspired by the Holy Spirit, but the people ignored them. How receptive are you to the Holy Spirit’s leading? What causes you to ignore it?

Respond

Despite persistent and repeated failure, God doesn’t abandon His people. How has God been patient with you? Write a prayer of thanksgiving for His patience below, followed by a commitment to obey the Holy Spirit’s leading.

For further study, read Deuteronomy 30:11-20 to find out more about God’s commands for the Israelites.

Behind the Story

The Book of Nehemiah details the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls. The central character, Nehemiah, served as the cupbearer of King Artaxerxes of Persia. After hearing of the sad state of affairs in Jerusalem, Nehemiah asked the king for permission to return and rebuild the city and its fortifications. The king granted his request and granted access to resources to finish the job. The walls were completely rebuilt in 52 days (Neh. 6:15-16).

The Point

Even in light of Israel’s cycle of rebellion, God didn’t turn his back on them. He was patient with the Israelites, calling them back to Himself. He does the same for us.


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