Hearken to His Voice
Deuteronomy 28:1 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:
If thou shalt hearken diligently. The word hearken, Shama (shaw-mah’) means to hear or to perceive by the ear, or, that is, listen to with attention. The word for diligently used here is the same Hebrew word, Shama (shaw-mah’), and so, the use of the same word twice side by side is like saying listen attentively or listen to with great interest.
Listen to what? If thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God. Listen attentively to His voice. How do we do that? By listening attentively to His word, His written word.
His written word is His voice, at least in the primary sense. This is not to say that the Lord cannot speak to our hearts by His Spirit, for He certainly can and will speak to us that way, and He will lead us and guide us in that way. But the most fundamental way we hear His voice is by hearing His word.
How do we know it means that? Because Moses goes on to say here, “to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day.” Hearken diligently unto His voice so that you can observe and do His commandments. So then, hearing His voice had to do with hearing His commandments.
And what would be the result of listening attentively to His voice so as to observe and do His commandments? It was so that the LORD thy God [would] set thee on high above all nations of the earth:
The Blessing of Hearing His Word
Deuteronomy 28:2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.
Deuteronomy 28:3 Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field.
Deuteronomy 28:4 Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.
Deuteronomy 28:5 Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.
Deuteronomy 28:6 Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.
Blessing, blessing, blessing. Notice that the blessing follows the hearkening, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, all these blessings will come upon you. Again, how do we hearken to His voice? We do that primarily by hearkening unto His word, His written word.
The point to be made here is that the blessing of the Lord is connected to the hearing of His word. It was true in the days when Moses led Israel through the wilderness and it is true today. There is power in the word of God to bring blessing upon our lives.
The Blessing Follows the Hearkening
Proverbs 4:20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.
Proverbs 4:21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.
Proverbs 4:22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
My son, attend to my words, give them your attention, bend your ear toward my sayings. Don’t let them out of your sight. Keep them in your heart. For they are physical life to those who find them, and medicine to all their flesh.
Life, health, and healing are in the word of God.
Psalm 107:20 He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.
How did the Lord heal them? He sent His word and His word healed them. But the healing came by the hearing of the word. Without hearing the word, the word could have no effect.
And thus, it is today. The blessing of the Lord and the healing of the Lord come by the hearing of the word of God.
His Word Has Purpose
Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
All scripture is divinely inspired. The Bible says that holy men of old spoke as they were moved along by the Holy Spirit. And those words were recorded and came down to us through the centuries and eventually found their way into the Bible.
And so, all scripture initially went forth out of the mouth of God, and the Lord says that so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth, it shall not return to me void or empty, but shall accomplish what I please, and it shall succeed in doing whatever I sent it to do.
The word of God was sent into the earth to accomplish things. How does it do that? It does that by being planted in the hearts of believers as the result of their hearkening unto it, or, that is, hearing it. And in the heart the seeds of the word grow, and it produces a harvest of whatever word was sown.
Healing scriptures produce healing, provision scriptures produce provision, peace scriptures produce peace of mind, and so on. And what is our part in the process? Our part is to hearken diligently to the voice of the Lord, that is, to give attentive listening to the word.
Hearing the Word
Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
There is a phenomenon that takes place in the heart of a person when the word of God is received into it. The simplest way to put it is that faith comes. How do we know whether or not we have faith? It cannot be felt. It cannot be touched. There is no way to measure it.
Then how do we know if we have faith working in our lives or not? We can only know it based upon the amount of hearing of the word that we are doing, because faith comes as the result of hearing.
Read or Listen?
How do we hear the word? We can, of course, read it. That’s one way. But listening to it is just as effective. Reading something with our eyes and listening to something with our ears accomplish the same thing. We decipher the words on a page seen by our eyes or we decipher the sound coming into our ears. In either case, we extract the thought being conveyed through whichever medium we decide to use. Both reading and listening have the same effect.
There are numerous audio and video readings of scriptures available online covering about any subject or topic we can think of. We have more resources today for hearing the word of God than any generation before us. We should certainly be taking advantage of that.
Set Aside the Time
Ephesians 5:15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
Ephesians 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Hearing the word of God, or hearkening to His voice, is one of the truly important activities we can be involved with. There is great blessing in it. Yet the truly important things of life are rarely pressing or urgent. They are the things that we tend to put aside until later and then never seem to get around to.
One of the best ways to overcome that tendency is to deliberately set aside time in the first part of the day to hear the word of God. That will insure that it is not pushed aside and forgotten about. Also, recordings of scripture readings can be played on cell phones or iPads while in transit to effectively make good use of that travel time.
Use your imagination. Find a way and a time in your daily schedule to make room for the hearing of the word, and as you do so on an ongoing basis, a taste for the word will develop, and a hunger for more of it.
Psalms 119:97 O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.