“Furthermore Elihu answered and said, Hear my words, O ye wise men; and give ear unto me, ye that have knowledge. For the ear trieth (tests) words, as the mouth tasteth meat (food).”Job 34:1-3
There are not many things I like to eat more than a nice, tasty steak with a bit of fat and cooked just right. Just the thought of it makes my mouth water. I don’t know what it is, but the aroma of a grilled steak turns me into Pepe Le Pew (the Warner Bros. amorous skunk character) and I must follow the scent. I do not always have steak, but when I do, it‘s a treat I definitely cherish.
A friend of the family sent my parents gift cards for us to celebrate Christmas, and we scheduled a special night at our favorite steak house. We had to book a reservation several weeks out as the restaurant is always packed. I circled the date on my calendar, and I looked forward to the day much like a kid looks forward to Christmas. It finally came and I was careful with what I ate that day as I did not want to spoil my appetite. Our reservation was set for later in the evening so I decided to get a good workout in beforehand. I knew the workout would bring out a healthy appetite, and all I could think about was that steak as I wrapped up my time at the gym.
When we arrived at the restaurant, the aromas were overwhelming and my stomach growled with anticipation because it knew it was in for a treat. I ordered the 20oz ribeye and it came out sizzling on a plate. The smell of the steak made my stomach jump, and I was ready to dig in. I cut meticulously like a surgeon, and I chewed 100 times in order to get all the flavor out of my steak. I did not rush my bites, and I closed my eyes and dreamed I was in heaven. The meat was savory, and my cuts became smaller the closer I neared the end of my meal. My mouth was quite happy, and I look forward to the day I will be able to go again.
This passage in Job refers hearing to testing the words we hear in the same way the mouth tastes food. I don’t know about you, but this is some serious hearing if you were to listen as I savor food. I let the food speak to all of my taste buds, and I don’t want to waste a bite. God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason, but we do not always adhere to the 2:1 ratio. We often hear words and phrases, but we often do not apply what we hear. We hear things that move us, but we don’t allow the words we hear to truly change us. We listen to the wrong things because we are entertained by them instead of listening to things that have real value. It matters who and what you listen to, and it matters what you do with what you hear.
Where are you today friend? Do you hear words and dissect them as you would a savory piece of meat or a bowl of ice cream? Who are you listening to? Where do you get your information? Do you test the words you hear or do you just believe everything you hear? Are you listening to godly things or is your ear constantly tuned to the world’s breaking news? May we test the words we hear, and may we expose ourselves to God’s words of wisdom as opposed to the foolishness of the world. May we test words much like I savor meat, and may we be changed by the godly things we hear and be moved to good works.