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Worship: Offering Up Our Ears 

We speak to God, He wants us to hear Him

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • August 27, In the year of our Lord, 2017


  1. Jeremiah cried,

    29 O earth, earth, earth,
    Hear the word of the LORD!
    (Jer 22.29)
  2. The first thing we can do to honor Jehovah God is to hear His word! 
    1. We know Him as the Creator.
    2. We want to worship Him as our Creator.
      1. It is automatic that we gather together to hear His message.
      2. Therefore, we heed Jeremiah’s call to hear the word of Yahweh God.


  1. We Want the Lord to Listen to Us 
    1. We sing to Him.
    2. We pray to Him.
    3. We remember Him.
    4. We give to Him.
      1. May the Lord hear us and see us
        1. when we do these things, because
        2. we worship in so doing them!
      2. However, we do not believe it is one-sided.
        1. It is not us telling God everything, but
        2. we want to hear Him also.
          1. Why should the Lord listen to us,
          2. if we will not listen to Him?
  2. Listening to the Lord Completes Our Worship 
    1. We do not want everything flowing from us to Him.
      1. We tell Him what we want, but
      2. we want to hear what He wants.
        1. That honors Him.
        2. By that we worship Him.
    2. We talk to Him of our longings and
      1. how we want Him to fulfill them.
      2. Did you know that in the Bible He expresses His longing in regard to us?
    3. Psalm 81 tells what our Creator wants from us.
      1. What could He possibly want from us?
      2. He has everything.
        1. And if He did not have it,
        2. we certainly could not provide it.
          1. Yet, still He longs for something from us.
          2. Here is what He said He wanted from Israel and
            1. remembering Jeremiah’s cry,
            2. we can say this includes Christians,

              13 “Oh, that My people would listen to Me,
              That Israel would walk in My ways!”
              (Psa 81.13)
      3. Look at the context, and
        1. you will see why
        2. the Lord wants us to listen to Him.
    4. The context of Psalm 81:
      1. In verses 1–5, the psalmist Asaph called for celebrating the Lord.
      2. The rest of the Psalm
        1. consists of Asaph reporting on what the Lord said, hence,
        2. the reasons for celebrating the Lord.
      3. Verses 6–7 the Lord stated how He had helped Israel, including this,

        7 “You called in trouble, and I delivered you;
        I answered you in the secret place of thunder…”
        (Psa 81.7ab)
      4. Then the Lord began to express His longing,

        8 “Hear, O My people, and I will admonish you!
        O Israel, if you will listen to Me!”

        11 “But My people would not heed My voice,
        And Israel would have none of Me.”

        13 “Oh, that My people would listen to Me,
        That Israel would walk in My ways!”
        (Psa 81.8, 11, 13)

      5. If they had listened to Him, He would have blessed them,

        10 “I am the LORD your God,
        Who brought you out of the land of Egypt;
        Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.”

        14 “I would soon subdue their enemies,
        And turn My hand against their adversaries.”

        16 “He would have fed them also with the finest of wheat;
        And with honey from the rock I would have satisfied you.”
        (Psa 81.10, 14, 16)

      6. Since they would not listen to Him, He did this,

        12 So I gave them over to their own stubborn heart,
        To walk in their own counsels.
        (Psa 81.12)

        1. Every time people refuse to listen to the word of God,
          1. they make their hearts stubborn and
          2. they walk in their own counsel.
        2. Every time
          1. they lose and
          2. they fall short of the glory of God.
  3. Listening to Our Creator Honors Him 
    1. If the One whom we come to worship created us, and
      1. if He will judge us, and
      2. if listening to Him brings successful living,
        1. we certainly want to hear from Him.
        2. We want to know what He says to us.
    2. That message is the Bible, and
      1. it pleases our God
      2. to come together to listen to the reading and the exposition of His word.
    3. Since we are His creation,
      1. we submit ourselves to Him as Samuel did,

        10 Now the LORD came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant hears” (1Sa 3.10).
      2. Is that not precisely what we should do in worship?
        1. He is, after all, running the world.
        2. In the worship assembly, we show Him that we want to hear His word.
    4. In Genesis 22, Moses showed Abraham taking Isaac to worship, and
      1. Isaac would be the item offered up.
      2. Abraham traveled with Isaac and their servants.
        1. Then Abraham said to them,

          5 “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you” (Gen 22.5).
        2. As Abraham prepared Isaac to sacrifice Him, verse 11 shows this,

          11 But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” So he said, “Here I am” (Gen 22.11).

          1. As a form of worship,
          2. Abraham present himself ready to hear or to do what the Lord said.
            1. That is the meaning of, “Here I am.”
            2. The Master of heaven and earth calls and
              1. His creatures present themselves to Him
              2. for whatever He wants them to do.
    5. Genesis 46 shows Jacob doing the same thing as Grandpa Abraham,
      1. worshiping God,
      2. then presenting himself to hear God,

        1 So Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. 2 Then God spoke to Israel in the visions of the night, and said, “Jacob, Jacob!” And he said, “Here I am” (Gen 46.1–2).

        1. What do you think Jacob intended?
          1. As a continuation of his sacrificing,
          2. he was ready to hear and to do what the Lord said.
        2. Why do you think God called to Jacob?
          1. Why do you say someone’s name?
          2. My little grandson Adam likes to say people’s names.
            1. So they, or I, say, What?
            2. He just grins and then tries to ignore us.
              1. God is not like that.
              2. He is not playing games with us.
                1. He speaks and
                2. He expects us to hear.
    6. Exodus 3 shows another man of God doing the same thing.
      1. Moses had seen a bush on fire without the fire consuming the bush.
      2. He got closer to investigate, perhaps looking around it,

        4 So when the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am” (Exo 3.4).

        1. God had something to say to Moses and
        2. something to command him to do.
          1. However, Moses did not want to do it.
          2. He argued with the Lord until he angered the God of heaven.
            1. Finally, Moses listened and obeyed, and
            2. the world has never been the same since.
    7. Watch what happens in Joshua 5.
      1. Moses has died.
      2. Joshua has taken over.
        1. Joshua and Israel have crossed the Jordan River.
        2. Before they attack Jericho,
          1. Joshua was by himself close to the city and
          2. he saw another Commander,

            13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?” 14 So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.”  And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?” 15 Then the Commander of the LORD’S army said to Joshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so (Josh 5.13–15).

            1. Joshua knew that a heavenly Man stood before, perhaps Jesus.
            2. Therefore, Joshua wanted to know
              1. what the Lord had to say to his servant,
              2. referring to himself.
            3. It was simple:
              1. Take your sandal off your foot, because
              2. you stand upon holy ground.
    8. Daniel 10 shows the prophet’s reaction to seeing a heavenly being.
      1. Daniel may also have seen Jesus.
      2. After struggling to stay alive during the vision, but then
        1. receiving strength,
        2. the heavenly being spoke to Daniel, and
          1. listen to what Daniel said in response,

            19 And he said, “O man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be to you; be strong, yes, be strong!” So when he spoke to me I was strengthened, and said, “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me” (Dan 10.19).
          2. We have confessed that Jesus is Lord.
            1. We worship Him today as Lord.
            2. How can we call Him Lord,
              1. if we do not listen to Him, and
              2. if we do not do what He has said to do?
                1. Luke 6 shows that He has the same question.
                2. Do we know what we mean when we call Him Lord?

                  46 “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6.46).


  1. For some people, asking them to worship the Lord regularly 
    1. by listening to His word and
    2. by listening to someone speak on it,
      1. is just too much for them.
      2. To them, “going to church” is enough.
  2. Think back on Psalm 81
    1. God has much to say to us.
    2. Please, listen to Him.
      1. It brings peace of mind now, and
      2. it leads to eternal life later.
  3. Three times in the Gospel Accounts, 
    1. God the Father told us to hear His Son.
    2. Are we listening to Him?