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Friday, January 24, 2014

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“Ears that hear and eyes that see–the Lord has made them both” Proverbs 20:12.

I assume that you believe this incredibly simple factual statement. The Lord made both our eyes and ears. As you read this, I hear you saying, “Wait, didn’t He make all of my other parts too?” You are right, He did. So what is so profound about this proverb? Let’s explore the concept for a moment to see if there isn’t more to think about.

First, both the eyes and the ears are incredibly complex, wonderfully competent, and unbelievably delicate. If your eyes are working correctly, you see color images with great clarity, many colors with a huge range of brightness, far better then the best cameras can reproduce.  And if your ears are working properly, you hear many ranges of frequencies over several orders of amplitude. We can’t begin to fully understand the beauty in structure and function of these eyes and ears that we have been given. In fact, even if each of us could fully comprehend what is known now, there is no comparison to what we will someday be able to see and hear (1 Cor. 2:9).

Second and more importantly, these detectors of light and sound are the primary avenues of learning about the world we live in and about our Creator. Take these eyes and ears away and all we have left is reception through touch, taste, and smell. The loss of hearing and seeing would not totally prevent us from knowing about God but it becomes increasingly difficult to learn of His love and grace without eyes and ears. So we need to carefully guard these avenues of the soul–both physically and spiritually.

Third, if a wealthy benefactor gives you and me a priceless gift, a gift ideally suited to learning, true gratitude for that gift would strongly suggest that we put it to good use rather than showing disrespect by squandering it on activities that separate us from the giver. So when Solomon is saying “ears that hear and eyes that see–the Lord has made them both,” I hear him saying that I should use these incredible gifts to the honor and glory of the supreme Maker. I hear him begging me to tune these literal and spiritual senses to the revelations of the Holy Spirit. He is exhorting me to be alert to the Spirit’s promptings.

Matthew 13:13-15 and Mark 8:18 record Jesus himself speaking of eyes and ears that do not see or hear. Statues in wood, stone, and bronze may have eyes and ears but they neither see nor hear.

“Lord God, maker of my ears and my eyes, please let me see You as You really are. Please let me hear Your still small voice speaking to my heart. May I use these incredible gifts to bring You honor and glory in this world of darkness and confusion. Amen.”

David A. Steen
Professor Emeritus
Andrews University