If you are a parent it probably has happened to you. You tell your child to do something and he or she ignores you. You say it louder and are still met with silence and inaction. Finally, you scream to them before storming into their room.
Once there, you are met with an "I didn't hear you."
Now sometimes that "I didn't hear you" is because the TV was too loud or the iPod was cranked up in their ears. Sometimes it is "selective" hearing--they hear what they want to hear, and it usually isn't you!
There are many people like that when it comes to God. They either are so self-absorbed that they don't notice God, they are so distracted that they can't hear or see Him working around them, or they have selective hearing and choose to ignore Him.
They also often live and operate in fear when there is no cause for fear (v5). This is most evident with those who do what we may consider irrational superstitions.
Some cultures, for example, believe that you have to "swing" away your sin. Each Spring the adults go to a playground-like setting. They stand on a swing, making it go back and forth, in fear that if they don't they will face God's wrath. They will put on their best clothes--guys in suits, women in nice dresses--and swing away!
In Psalm 53 David paints a picture of these outsiders. He uses words similar to those in Psalm 14 to reiterate the sinful and fallen nature of man. "The fool says in his heart, 'there is no God'"(v1).
Some scholars say that Hebrew words for "there is no God" is not a denial of the existence of God, but rather a denial of the providence of the Deity. In other words, whether God really exists or not doesn't matter because the person denies God's right to control, direct or intervene in his or her life. They live for themselves with no thought of God. "There is none who does good, not even one" (v3). They are going their own way and without God's grace will continue to drift through life and eternity separated from the Almighty.
While it is easy for believers to sit back and say "I'm glad I'm not like them," God would have us respond differently. He longs to have a personal relationship with everyone.
How do you break through and reach a person like that? Romans 10:13-15 says "For whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?And how shall they preach unless they are sent?" It goes on to say, "So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God."
It is up to us to lovingly enter into the "noise" of their "room" and share God's word. Not screaming like the frustrated parent, but as a loving friend who, like them, was once lost in life but now desires to show them the way forward.
Will you be that friend and help the world with its selective hearing problem?
Frank Banfill is an author, international speaker, and president of MaxPoint Ministries, whose purpose is to help individuals, churches and ministries reach their full potential. Please forward this blog to your family & friends. Not a subscriber? Sign up now at www.FranksBibleBlog.com.