It’s been well said, “God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason.” The inference is we ought to do twice as much listening as speaking. Perhaps no better illustration of this can be found than in the history of the children of Israel.

Murmuring, complaining, and disobedience seemed to be inherent traits of the people as God led them through the wilderness to the Promised Land. God dealt very harshly with rebellion against His authority during this time.

On one occasion, the earth literally swallowed up a dissident and his family. In another instance, the entire nation expressed their displeasure with the manna God had supplied. So God sent poisonous serpents to invade the Israelite camp. Many who were bitten died, even after God provided a remedy. Why? They refused to listen.

We share much in common with the Israelites of old. We are quick to complain, slow to praise, and often unwilling to listen. Though we live in the Age of Grace, there is still a stiff penalty when we disobey God’s Word. When He speaks, it pays to listen.

Friend, God has spoken. Don’t harden your heart. Listen with a desire to obey and apply the truth to your life. Sometimes the truth will be difficult to hear, but if you choose to obey, it will pay in the long run. The cost of obedience is small compared with the price of disobedience.

Obedience is the road to freedom, humility the road to pleasure, unity the road to personality. — C.S. Lewis

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.