We hear what God has to say, yet we then go our own ways. Essentially, we like what we have to say better than we like what God has to say. We put self before God on a regular basis, don’t we? It’s part of the human condition. God knows it and we know it…
31 My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to hear your words, but they do not put them into practice. Their mouths speak of love, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. 32 Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice.
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
One of God’s criticisms of Israel during the time of Ezekiel was that they listened to what Ezekiel had to say from God, yet they would not put God’s word into practice. Funny. We do the same thing today, oftentimes, don’t we?
We hear what God has to say, yet we then go our own ways.
I think this is because, essentially, we like what we have to say better than we like what God has to say. We put self before God on a regular basis, don’t we? It’s part of the human condition. God knows it and we know it.
James writes about it too. He says, ‘don’t deceive yourselves.’ Don’t just listen to the word – do what it says.
Do what the Word of God says!
James says that when we don’t do what God says, we are like people who forget what we look like after looking in the mirror.
Who would do that? We would never forget what we look like would we? Yet we forget what God says to us because we get distracted by ourselves and our own priorities.
The contrast is to hear God and to look intently into his word which gives freedom, and to continue in it. The person who does this experiences freedom and the blessing of God in what they do.
Because what they do is in line with God desires for them to do. Isn’t that simple? Don’t listen and do our own thing and God will likely exile us like he did with Israel in the time of Ezekiel. Listen to God and follow his word and achieve freedom and blessing.
Take your pick. I know where I want to be…