Thursday, September 17, 2009
Selective Hearing (Selective Obedience)
Pastor Koshy Thomas' message on selective hearing in CF meeting (16 September 2009) has certainly convicted many people.
Using Samson as the example (Judges 13 - 16) Ps Koshy pointed out five characteristics of someone with selective hearing = selective disobedience = selective obedience = no obedience.
Samson was to be a Nazirite—a person who took a vow to be set apart for God's service. Samson's parents made the vow for him. A Nazirite vow was sometimes temporary, but in Samson's case, it was for life.
From Numbers 6:18, as a Nazirite, Samson could not:
- cut his hair
- touch a dead body, or
- drink anything containing alcohol, grape juice or anything from grapevine.
Judges 14:1-4 recorded Samson's first act of selective hearing - marrying a Philistine woman. Although God can turn the situation over for His advantage (Judges 14:4), this is not an excuse for us to disobey God.
The first point about people with selective hearing is:
1. People with selective hearing have already pre-determined or made up their mind even though they know that their course of action is sin or disobedience to God.
2. Secondly, people with selective hearing will not budge or change from their pre-decided course of action to disobey God despite being advised to do so (like in the case of Samson being advised by his parents)
In fact, people with selective hearing often seek out people who say things they want to hear.
Judges 14:8 - Samson already touched a dead body (violated his Nazirite vow).
At this point, Pastor Koshy touched on the issue of "unequally yoked" - a Christian going out steady with a unbeliever. A catchy phrase he used: "Marriage is not be tried out as a mission field." Want to go mission? Go to places like Myanmar, Vietnam, but not trying out in marriage.
3. People with selective hearing will do their acts of disobedience in secrets or in the dark but behaves innocently in public. Example of Samson in Judges 14:9 where after Samson touched the carcass of the dead lion to get the honey to eat, he kept it a secret from his parent:
which he scooped out with his hands and ate as he went along. When he rejoined his parents, he gave them some, and they too ate it. But he did not tell them that he had taken the honey from the lion's carcass. (Jdg 14:9 NIV)
Though we may do acts in secrets, God knows and sees every thoughts and every acts done.
The next part that was shared is the account of Samson's infatuation with Delilah. Motivated by greed, Delilah used her persistence to wear down Samson. Samson's infatuation blinded him an he paid a great price for giving in to her persistence nagging.
4. People with selective hearing often refuse to see the reality (although deep down they may know it is wrong).
5. People with selective hearing continues disobeying God thinking that they will not be facing any consequences of their acts.
God is not impressed with our external acts. He looks at the heart. In fact the Bible says: Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. (Gal 6:7 NIV)
We often do not understand the agricultural principle of sowing. We don't sow one seed and expect to receive the harvest of a one new seed. We sow one seed, and expect to harvest at least, say, one hundred seeds. Sowing one act of disobedience, reaping at least, say, one hundred consequences of our action.
Isn't it selective hearing = selective obedience = selective disobedience = no obedience. If Christ is not Lord of all, He is not Lord at all.
We ended up that night by prayer, opening up the time for us to confess before our merciful God, a God of the second chance.