Hear….hearken….give ye ear…– Hosea 5:1
The professor had the mysterious habit of removing a tennis ball from his jacket pocket as he walked into the lecture hall each morning. He would
set it on the corner of the podium. After giving the lecture for the day, he would once again pick up the tennis ball, place it into his jacket pocket,
and leave the room.
No one ever understood why he did this, until one day …
A student fell asleep during the lecture. The professor didn’t miss a word of his lecture while he walked over to the podium, picked up the tennis ball, and threw it, hitting the sleeping student squarely on the top of the head.
The next day, the professor walked into the room, reached into his jacket, removed a baseball …
No one ever fell asleep in his class the rest of the semester!
Now, it goes without saying that it would be counter-productive, maybe even criminal, to try that in church, but I can certainly understand how the professor felt. I had a preacher friend(?) who threw a Bible at a man sleeping in church and threatened to do so again if anyone else fell asleep. That’s dumb! Instead of throwing balls or Bibles maybe it would be better if we preachers worked harder on our sermon preparation. Face it, some sermons are so boring that it’s a wonder that anyone stays awake.
However, the fact remains that regardless of how hard you try, some people just won’t listen– regardless of what you do. We can’t do anything about those folks, but most of us need to work on ourselves in this regard. If the truth be known we don’t pay attention to God as we should. That’s more than disrespectful, it’s dangerous. An example of this is found in Hosea 5:8-15 where God spoke to Israel, warning them of impending judgment. But they refused to listen. As a result God took steps against them to get their attention. Three terrible things happened as a result of their refusing to listen to God: (1) Deprivation-“as a moth–as rottenness”; (2) Debilitation- “a lion”; (3) Desertion- “I will go and return to my place”. If we learn anything from Israel it’s this— disregarding and disobeying God is dangerous! God knows how to get our attention, even if He has to hurt us. But, let us never forget–He hurts us to help us by healing us! Let us then “hear” what He says, “hearken” to His commands, and “give..ear” to His warnings. It is for our own good!