The Time People Treated the Preaching of God’s Word like a Concert
Thinking about Ezekiel 33:30–33.
Sometimes people who disobey God have no desire to even listen to His word.
But sometimes, the people who disobey God will listen to His word — maybe they even enjoy hearing the Bible taught.
God told the prophet Ezekiel about people just like that.
“As for you, son of man, the children of your people are talking about you beside the walls and in the doors of the houses; and they speak to one another, everyone saying to his brother, ‘Please come and hear what the word is that comes from the LORD.’
So they come to you as people do, they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain.
Indeed you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice and can play well on an instrument; for they hear your words, but they do not do them.
And when this comes to pass — surely it will come — then they will know that a prophet has been among them.” (Ezekiel 33:30–33)
God describes people who convince others to go and hear the word of the Lord. They sit and listen — and even enjoy hearing God’s word taught.
But there was a significant problem.
They treated the proclamation of God’s word like a concert. It was enjoyable, but it didn’t change their life one bit. They would walk away from hearing God’s word proclaimed and probably say to each other, “Wasn’t that a great sermon?” and miss what they needed to do in response to God’s word.
Why did they do this? Because “they talk lustfully, and their heart is set on their own advantage” (Ezekiel 33:31 NET). All that mattered to them was what they wanted — whether it be financial, sexual, or anything else. They were blind to the fact that their lives were not right with God.
All that mattered was what they wanted. All that they cared about was feeding their own desires.
We must be careful not to do the same thing.
In the New Testament, James urges us to be doers of God’s word and not just hearers.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.
But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. (James 1:22–25)
When we approach the word of God, we must compare ourselves carefully to what we find.
We must be willing to make right anything we find in our lives that is “out of place.” God’s blessing is upon those who commit themselves to this “work.”