Have you ever been accused of not paying close enough attention?
When I lost my cell phone on our flight to San Antonio this past spring, I mentally beat myself up for a few minutes for not paying enough attention to my stuff.
Several years ago when I came back from Cuba to Mexico, I totally forgot to claim all my bags from the carousel, that is until I had to show them at Customs. Not only were the Mexican officials annoyed with this “clueless” American but I had the voices in my head berating me, too. I was not paying close enough attention and could have gotten into a very sticky situation.
I love watching animals; domesticated and wild ones. When they hear something, they suddenly come to attention and their ears prick up. They listen intently for the slightest sound. For Sasha, my 7 year old black lab mix, she becomes “all ears” and hopes for something small and quick to chase. For wild animals, they know their very lives may be at stake.
A few years ago, while on a sunset game drive in Botswana, in our safari vehicle we came across a pride of 8 lions laying in the tall grass. Our guide cut the engine and we sat for quite a while letting the shutters fly and observing their peaceful demeanor. We suddenly became aware of a hyena just about to wander into the lion’s camp. The hyena was oblivious to the lions as he was curious about the open-air Land Cruiser full of white people. The lions were far more attentive and all ears pricked up; they were on alert to the sounds of dinner being delivered! In the animal world, not paying close attention can be deadly. Animals learn to pay attention for they know their very lives may depend upon it.
This application is relevant for us in the spiritual sense. The Hebrew word “qashab” describes this kind of attentiveness or alertness. Greek-American Bible scholar, Spiro Zodiates defines it as “to prick up the ears, i.e., sharpening them like an alert animal; to pay attention”.
God does this. I’m not sure if His ears actually twitch or prick up, but this Hebrew word is used to describe His attention being captured by us, His children, when we talk to Him. When we talk, He is “all ears!”
Psalm 17:1 Lord , hear a just cause; a pay attention to my cry; listen to my prayer—
Psalm 55:2 Pay attention to me and answer me. I am restless and in turmoil with my complaint
Psalm 61:1 Lord , hear a just cause; a pay attention to my cry; listen to my prayer.
Psalm 86:6 Lord , hear my prayer; listen to my plea for mercy.
Psalm 130:2 Lord, listen to my voice; let Your ears be attentive to my cry for help
Psalm 142:6 Attend to my cry, for I am brought very low! Deliver me from my persecutors,
for they are too strong for me!
God’s ears are always listening for His children. 2 Chronicles 16:9 tells us that His eyes roam to and fro throughout the whole earth, seeking those with hearts that are truly His. So He’s not just ears, but He’s “all eyes and ears” for His kids! When we speak to Him, He hears us; but more than that our words and our hearts capture His total attention much like an animal alert to the sounds around him. He loves us that much!
I don’t know about you, but this makes me really want to talk to my Heavenly Father about the really important things.
It’s almost 5am, and I’ve been up most of the night; and I’ve been praying and seeking God on behalf of my daughter. She knows that no matter what time of the day or night, she can interrupt our lives to ask our help. Somewhere in her travels as a tour guide she lost her purse along with her credit card and passport, and found herself stranded until this can be resolved. When her call came in the middle of night, we were “all ears” for her. And we won’t let up being “all ears for her” until her situation is resolved.
That’s just like our Heavenly Father. (Except that He can find the lost purses and passports, or find ways to replace them even in unlikely places like Alaska!)
So if you knew that He was not only listening, but is “qashab” for us; that He is alert with His ears pricked up and ready to listen and respond, would that change the dynamics of your relationship with Him?
God is “qashab” for you! This is what He loves to do. He’s all ears for you; now, what do you want to say to Him?
We’d love to have you on our prayer support team! We know that we will need more of Him than ever before as we go to Macha to love on the big ones and little ones, to watch for where He is looking for us to bring hope and healing. Let us know that you are out there standing with us by shooting us an email occasionally. Words from home are always welcome!
Thanks so much for praying for us. While you're at it, please pray for our daughter, too. :)
Kathy & Greg
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