So, how does God view the prayers of those of us who are actively disobeying His Word? That is what we learn today in the proverb of the day. This is going to be a proverb that confronts those who think God hears their prayers - when they are actively disboeying a command of the Word of God. It is also going to be a time when we realize that God sees issues of obedience to His Word in stark black and white - not in a plethora of grey.
When we disobey the Word - we are in effect turning our ears away from listening to it. Here in Christian America, we think that having heard the word with the ear alone is akin to having obeyed it. The most rebellious places in America are not the bars or the strip joints. The most rebellious places in America are the parking lots of her churches. This is where far too many saints of God go after hearing the truth preached by their pastors - and justify letting it go into one ear and out the other. They hear the Word - but it never penetrates their hearts. Some will even justify their present disobedience - while praising what was said by the preacher. Thus the American practice of thinking we've obeyed, when we have only heard something - is continued weekly.
When we do not obey - we are turning our ear from listening to the truth. The term here for turn away means that we go away from the Word - we desert it - we quit the Word, meaning that we hear, but do not DO it. We turn aside from it and do not allow it to do a work in our hearts.
When we do not obey the Word - God considers our prayers and abomination. Whoa now! Did we read that right! God considers prayers uttered by the disobedient to be an abomination. We thought that word was just reserved for homosexuals - didn't we. But God is holy - not just anti-homosexual. He is pro-holiness all the way. Thus, when we are not pro-holiness (read here pro-obedience, pro-godly, pro-doing what God says when He says it) - we are in effect, anti-God. He is shocked and appalled by our lack of listening and obeying. He is horrified that we would actually turn a deaf ear to what He has said. He considers such things an abomination!
There were a group of people that Jesus was hardest upon in the gospel accounts. To the shock of most people, this group was not the classic sinners. He was not hardest on the prostitutes, the tax collectors, the scum of society, or the usually suspects we consider when we wonder who a "hell-fire-and-brimstone" preacher would single out in his preaching. Jesus was hardest on religious hypocrites. He reserved His most scathing comments for those who practiced religion outwardly, but inwardly ignored the Word. By the way - this is where the pray-er, but not obey-er would be put by our Lord. The one who turns his ear from listening to the Law, by not obeying it - IS the hypocrite. And contrary to our popular habit of thinking that the hypocrite is anyone other than us - it IS us. Whenever we engage in pious prayers - without having obeyed the Word that God has spoken to us recently - we are an abomination.
Wisdom tells us that we are to hear and heed the Word of God. This will give our prayers wings that will fly them to the very throne of God. May we always watch our hearts to make sure that we are hearing, obeying - then praying. This is the proper order of things.