This morning I was reading through Proverbs 28 and verse 9 really stuck out:
He who turns away his ear from listening to the law,
Even his prayer is an abomination. – Proverbs 28:9
I remember where the Bible says husbands that don’t live with their wives in an understanding way can have their prayers hindered (1 Peter 3:7), but here we are told prayers can be an abomination to God. [Abomination: a vile, shameful, or detestable action; hateful beyond belief.]
Who is the person that turns away his ear from listening to the law? This would be someone who knows God’s law, who knows what God desires, yet turns away from these things because it might not be convenient for them. These people are everywhere! I think Solomon is referring not so much to unbelievers, because they don’t generally know God’s law, but to believers – people who call themselves Christians and may even be going to church.
And that is the danger. There are many people who know God’s law but have turned their ears away from His law, looking for something they want to hear.
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. – 2 Timothy 4:3-4
How do you know if you have turned your ear from listening to the law? Don’t look at your heart, for The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure (Jeremiah 17:9). Instead, look at your actions, look at how you are living your life. Certainly your actions do nothing for your salvation, but your actions and how you live your life are a reflection of your faith and your belief (faith without works is useless – James 2:20).
The Message translates Proverbs 28:9 like this:
God has no use for the prayers
of the people who won’t listen to him.
Are you listening to God’s word, or have you turned your ear, deciding there are parts of God’s law that just don’t fit into your life at this time? Or are you enjoying the benefits of being a child of God?