Ears, Listening, and Words: Undeceive our Confusion (Part 2 of 2)

“In the New Testament we are told, ‘He who has ears, let him hear.’ If the Bible urges us to use our ears, they must be important. Think of the frequent prophetic summons: ‘Hear the word of the Lord’ (e.g., Jeremiah 2:4). Go all the way back to the foundation of Israel’s faith: ‘Hear, O Israel’ (Deuteronomy 6:4). At least 394 times the Old Testament refers to the word of God coming to us.

“Why does this matter? Malcolm Muggeridge framed the question in his typically delightful way some years ago in his London Lectures in Contemporary Christianity. What is, instead of the Dead Sea Scrolls, we’d found the Dead Sea Videotapes? Would the difference matter? Would it matter if Biblical faith had been handed down to us in images rather than in words? Does the camera make the same impact as the pen? And Muggeridge argued that the camera deceives us. It makes us think we are seeing reality. But television, especially, brainwashes us with carefully edited fantasies. God encounters us meaningfully through words—words that illuminate, words that last, words that undeceive our confusion.”

-Ray Ortlund, Jr. Isaiah: God Saves Sinners. (Isa 50:4-51:8) p. 333.