For some writing I’m doing, I recently did research into various learning styles and methods of teaching that help children retain information.
- When babies are born, they naturally learn by touch (tactile) — everything goes in their mouths.
- As they begin to move voluntarily, they start learning by movement (kinesthetic).
- As they learn to speak, they begin to learn by what they hear (auditory), as you’ll notice when they learn to follow directions or mimic sounds they hear.
- The last way they learn is by sight (visual), which usually begins about the time they begin to read.
Of course, none of these learning styles is necessarily better than another or more “biblical” in and of itself. However, I thought it was interesting to see how God “learns” about me and the circumstances I’m in.
Our verses today are Psalm 34:15-16:
The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry.
The face of the LORD is against those who do evil,
To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. (NKJV)
Notice that God’s eyes are upon us. Many people don’t learn well by visual methods, yet God’s eyes don’t miss a thing. He sees all. Nothing can escape His notice. This is such a comfort, especially when others seem blind to our problems. Have you ever had a backache, and it was all you could do to stand up straight? People might brush up against you, give you a big bear hug or smack you on the back, totally oblivious to the pain they’re causing. Yet God sees our needs, our pain, our hurts, our secret tears and our brave attempts to smile when we don’t feel like it.
Notice that God’s ears are open to our cries. My dear husband is a big, burly guy who really doesn’t have much use for my feminine way of changing moods three times in one day. If I cry, his typical reaction is to hand me a tissue and tell me to trust God. (Of course, I know that’s what I should do, but I usually remember better after a big cry!) Poor guy — now he also has four daughters who seem as quick to burst into howling tears as their mother. As much as I love my husband, it is a special comfort to know that God hears my cries. No, His ears are “open” to my cries. He welcomes the sound of my helplessness, because He knows that only He can offer true comfort and solutions to my woes. And He loves to comfort me.
However, notice that the face of God is against those who do evil. It is as if He turns His back to their problems and refuses to take notice. What a chilling thought! Unlike a small baby who welcomes touch and love, God’s face is set like a flint against those who have forsaken Him. So the wicked are left to find their own way through life, without God’s touch and without His blessing.
Yet God goes further! In a swift move of action, His sword cuts off even the remembrance of evil doers from the earth. How agonizing! No one wants to be forgotten, unseen, passed over — like the people who built the tower of Babel, seeking to make themselves famous and avoid obedience to God. We don’t even know their names! Rather, we hope to accomplish something of eternal importance and to leave a godly mark on future generations.
So we have before us a choice. We can choose to be righteous and humble, willing to cry out to the eternal God in our need. (My father used to say that repentance means we recognize wrong in ourselves and change to do right.) Or we can choose to do evil and attempt to make a name for ourselves.
Our choice determines God’s response to us. I certainly know what I’d prefer, don’t you?