When We Are Not Willing to Listen

II Kings 14:11 – “But Amaziah would not hear. Therefore Jehoash king of Israel went up; and he and Amaziah king of Judah looked one another in the face at Bethshemesh, which belongeth to Judah.”

As the king of Judah, Amaziah had challenged Jehoash, the king of Israel. He desired that they might meet on the field of battle and settle their differences. The king of Israel responded by warning Amaziah that he was acting in pride and that such a battle would prove to be disastrous for Amaziah. However, “Amaziah would not hear.”

In the ensuing conflict, Judah was soundly defeated and the house of the Lord was plundered. Amaziah was eventually killed in a conspiracy. Amaziah could have avoided this costly and humiliating defeat in battle simply by listening to the caution that was offered him, but he “would not hear.” He was not willing to listen to the one who was offering him sound advice. It was not that he was not capable of hearing; he was not willing to hear. His decision was already made, and his stubbornness caused him to forge ahead with his ill-advised plans. Most of us can recall times when serious mistakes could have been avoided if we would have been willing to listen to the warnings given. But, like Amaziah, we “would not hear.”

Another example of this in the Scripture is when Paul, in route to Rome aboard ship, advised the ship’s commanders that to continue would bring much harm. However, they “would not hear” the cautions of the man of God and suffered greatly because of it. We must take our warnings seriously. I know of far too many people who have ignored the advice of godly counselors and have suffered greatly because of it. We need to take heed to the Word of God and the counsel that our Heavenly Father gives to us in the Scriptures. We need to hearken to the voices of those God has placed in our lives.

Why is it that we are not willing to listen? Jehoash told Amaziah it was because he was puffed up with pride. Would you not agree that the same is sometimes true in our lives? We do not want to hear the advice of others because we think we are capable of making decisions on our own. It may be that devastating mistakes might be avoided if we would take the time to listen.