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Turns Away His Ear

Proverbs 28:9 (ESV) — If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.

Many people in our world today craft their own versions of Christianity. Some don’t even call it Christianity, but they certainly believe they are walking with God. People customize their own religious experiences according to their preferences and whims. These folks assume they can construct their own law and codes to live by. They ignore God’s Word. Contrary to their beliefs, they are not in fellowship with God. 

We see this exact principle taught in our passage today. We read in Proverbs 28:9, “If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.” 

The writer of the proverb reminds us that if one turns away his ear from hearing the law, his prayers are an abomination. To turn away your ear isn’t just not listening, it is disinterest in God’s commands. The individual that lives this way wants to live how they want to. People may try to instruct them in God’s Word, but they do not want to hear it. They believe God’s laws are outdated or non-binding. They choose how they live, and they assume God adopts their thinking.

How do we know God doesn’t accept this sort of disposition? Because the proverb tells us that the prayer of this individual is an abomination to the LORD. The LORD does not receive their prayers. He rejects them. Why? Because this person lives as a law unto themselves and supposes they can go to God on their terms. But God is not a man that bends according to strong personalities or self-deluded people. His Word stands. He calls us to come and die if we’re going to follow Him. We don’t call the shots. We don’t set the terms.

Remember today that the posture of our heart needs to reflect submission. We may not do it perfectly, but our desire should be to obey God in all things. Nobody gets to dictate their own guidelines for pleasing God.

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Our passage reminds us that the key to our prayer life, and to close communion with the LORD, lies in our willingness to obey Him in every aspect of our lives. Repent of your disobedience where you discover it. Warn others of this truth who deceive themselves about their closeness with God. Honor the LORD by listening to His commands, and He will listen to you. 

Reflection & Journal:
- Why do many people in our culture believe they can create their own rules and laws to live by and approach God?
- What does our text reveal about that mentality? What is the consequence?
- How should this passage personally instruct us about our own hearts and lives?

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