But Can We Listen?

Then I looked up, and there before me was a man with a measuring line in his hand.  I asked, “Where are you going?”
He answered me, “To measure Jerusalem, to find out how wide and how long it is.”
While the angel who was speaking to me was leaving, another angel came to meet him and said to him: “Run, tell that young man, ‘Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of people and animals in it.  And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will be its glory within.’
“Come! Come! Flee from the land of the north,” declares the Lord, “for I have scattered you to the four winds of heaven,” declares the Lord.

  • Zechariah 2:1-6

Then the angel who was speaking to me came forward and said to me, “Look up and see what is appearing.”
I asked, “What is it?”
He replied, “It is a basket.” And he added, “This is the iniquity of the people throughout the land.”

  • Zechariah 5:5-6

I looked up again, and there before me were four chariots coming out from between two mountains—mountains of bronze.  The first chariot had red horses, the second black, the third white, and the fourth dappled — all of them powerful.
I asked the angel who was speaking to me, “What are these, my lord?”
The angel answered me, “These are the four spirits of heaven, going out from standing in the presence of the Lord of the whole world.  The one with the black horses is going toward the north country, the one with the white horses toward the west, and the one with the dappled horses toward the south.”
When the powerful horses went out, they were straining to go throughout the earth.  And he said, “Go throughout the earth!”  So they went throughout the earth.
Then he called to me, “Look, those going toward the north country have given my Spirit rest in the land of the north.”

  • Zechariah 6:1-8

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.  When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken.

  • Acts 2:5-6

In the Scriptures above, we see Zechariah doing a lot of talking with an angel.  Okay, mostly listening to the angel.  We see symbology with a measuring line, a basket, and chariots driven by red, black, white, and dappled horses.  Why not pale?

The pastor gave a great sermon on Pentecost.  At one point, he mentioned, as if in passing, that the apostles were speaking Heaven’s language in that each listener thought they were speaking their language.

That got me to thinking about a vision that my wife had back over twenty years ago.  She saw her death and there was an angel there to walk with her to Heaven.  They had a long conversation, but they never spoke.  Whenever one wanted to communicate, they produced the thought that the other ”heard.”

Now on Pentecost, the apostles (disciples) spoke.  They were bold even though they had hidden up to this point when the Holy Spirit filled them.

But it got me to thinking about the manner in which we have “conversations” these days.  There is rarely much listening.  Note in the Scriptures above that Zechariah asks a short question and is then busy listening for the angel’s answer.  The questions are very short, three, four, and five words.

I remember an exercise in a training class where we had to improve our listening skills.  We were paired off and given opposite sides of a situation.  One person talked for two minutes, I think.  I do not remember how long, only that it was painfully long.  The other person had to sit on their hands and not say a word.  At the end of the two minutes, the roles were reversed.  But the first listener did not listen, they were preparing their rebuttal.  The second listener was not listening, because the exercise was over in their opinion.

So, if we cannot fix our listening skills and communication in Heaven is by thought only, we would never hear anything because we would hear everyone at the same time trying to drown out what the other person was thinking.

Yep, we have something that we need to fix.

My wife’s skills are fading fast.  Her hearing is going out.  Her attention span is lessening.  And her emotions are betraying her at times.  She used to have a five-minute conversation with someone she had never met, and the person’s birthday and other key facts were indelibly etched in my wife’s brain.  She would say that if you loved the other person, why would you not learn these things?

One reason for not learning them is that most people are too busy thinking about what they want to say rather than listening.  Talking by merely thinking would give you a headache if everyone thought at once.  How do you turn off your thoughts in order to listen in that situation?

But God even knows that about us.  We can make a concerted effort to improve our listening skills now, but the big improvement is when God fixes the sin nature within us.  Then, we might be in eternal listening mode.  If for no other reason, to learn all the things that we were too busy to hear beforehand.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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