Lazy Hearing (Hebrews 5:11)

Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.” (Hebrews 5:11, KJV 1900)

As I have grown older, I have discovered that my hearing has somewhat diminished. If I am in a room full of people or in a place where there is background noise and someone says something, I struggle to discern what they are saying. I guess that the years of competitive rifle shooting, time in the military in tanks and on tank ranges and industrial environments have combined to cause some damage. Thus, I have become dull of hearing.

The writer of the letter to the Hebrews states that they have become dull of hearing. He says this, because they are unable to move to the deeper teachings of God’s word. It seems that when they heard these deeper teachings, it was kind of like Charlie Brown listening to his teacher going, “Wah…wa-wah…wa-wah…” The Hebrews of whom the writer refers, are incapable to move beyond the elementary teachings of the faith for a couple reasons.

One possible reason is that those who hear the word of salvation and perhaps even assented to it, never truly trusted in it. They knew and believed the facts, but their hearts had not been regenerated. People who constantly hear the basic message of salvation and do not respond to it, can become progressively dull to hearing the truth. Thus, having continuously refused to trust in Jesus, they have experienced a progressive hardening of the heart towards it. In conjunction with this, unbelievers will struggle to understand the deeper truths of God’s Word.

Another possible reason is that they were just plain lazy. When the author states that they were “dull” of hearing, he used the Greek word, nothros, which refers to being lazy in the ears. At some point, they had become lazy in the ears to the teachings of Scripture. They did not want to go any further. It is hard for me to understand how any true believer would not have a hunger for the deeper things of God. So again, this could refer to those professing Christians who had not truly believed.

Yet, it might also be a warning to those who have truly believed and just got plain lazy. For those true believers, they should be ready to move on to the deeper truths of the faith.

Perhaps there is someone today who says, I have read the Bible and it doesn’t make any sense to me. Perhaps you should pick the book up again and cry out to God for understanding. Pray to God that He would change your heart to be able to grasp the message of the gospel.

There are many who will read the Bible and conclude that they do not understand. While you may not understand everything, if you are a true believer, you will have a hunger for the deeper things. Do not get lazy. Continue to read and study God’s Word. Keep on seeking and you will gain understanding.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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