California Farmer 255:9 (Dec. 12, 1981)
Last week, our youngest daughter and her family were here with us. After the first night, she remarked about the coyotes yipping all night, very close to the house. I have not heard them for years. They are out there all the time, but I am so used to the sound, I no longer hear them. On the other hand, when I visit my daughter, I hear every car which goes up or down the street during the night.
All too often, we hear things without really heeding them. The sounds are there, but we are so familiar and indifferent to them that we hear without hearing, and we pay no attention to them.
This is what it means to be gospel-hardened. An older meaning of that term is someone who hears the gospel week in and week out without really listening to it. One of the marks of such a gospel-hardened person is that he shows no growth, year after year.
Our Lord says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock” (Rev. 3:20). His knocking is not a pleading to enter but a summons either to communion or to judgment, and He will tolerate no lukewarmness (Rev. 3:15–16). I am almost always lukewarm to the coyote’s voice, unless I think it may threaten the chicks. I dare not be lukewarm to the Lord’s voice.
As a nation, we have long tuned out the Word of God. We buy Bibles in great numbers but do not read them. We hear the Word of God, and we listen with sleepy ears. This means that we treat His Word as no more important than all the other words around us.
We need rather to say, when we read His Word, or hear it read in church, Lord, “Speak; for thy servant heareth” (1 Sam. 3:10).