The Scriptures record the successes and mistakes others have made so that we will learn from them (1 Corinthians 10:6, 11). According to 2 Timothy 3:16-17, God speaks through the Scriptures to equip us for every good work. How we listen to God as He speaks through His Word is important. Here are three warning examples that teach us how to listen well:
Moses and Aaron: Obey God’s commands. In Numbers 20:8-12, God told Moses and Aaron to assemble the people and speak to the rock before their eyes so that it would produce water for them by the power of God. Instead, Aaron spoke to the people arrogantly, and Moses struck the rock. God refused them entry into the promised land as a result.
Nadab and Abihu: Do not put words in God’s mouth. In Leviticus 10:1-3, Nadab and Abihu offered fire to God, which He had not commanded them to present. Because they went beyond the command of God, they were consumed by fire from the Lord.
David and Uzzah: Remember what God has said. 2 Samuel 6:1-7 contains the account of David moving the ark of the covenant. It was a joyous occasion, but he forgot God’s instruction concerning how to carry the ark (1 Chronicles 15:13). When Uzzah touched the ark to steady it on the cart as it tipped, he was struck dead for his irreverence before God.
Each of these shares the same problem: all failed to treat God as holy. We must receive God’s Word in a way that honors His holiness. We must obey what God has said without presumptuously going beyond His commands and commit His word to memory so that we may not forget what He has said. Listen well and honor God with your reception of His Word.