Seeing and hearing

Ecclesiastes 1:8: All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.

The book of Ecclesiastes is about how everything is futile and the only thing/one that matters is God; and even wisdom is overrated.

The preacher concluded by saying the whole duty of man is to obey God (Ecclesiastes 12:13). If that is our perspective, it will go a great extent to rescue our life from the earth’s curse of futility, emptiness.

After Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden, God said he will sweat in the process of getting the food he will eat (Genesis 3). His life will have a good dose of futility, and vexation of spirit as captured in the book of Ecclesiastes, where the emptiness of life’s pursuit was laid bare.

In the focus verse, the futility of hearing and seeing are reflected on. The eye and ear are no discriminatory in what is heard and seen respectively. That is where the heart comes in, to help sort through the unwieldy information that are being pumped into our mind through the eyes and the ear, in the order of importance.

The problem start when the wrong things are classified as importance and vice versa. When the devil was able to get Adam and Eve to reclassify the word of God as being unimportant, he trapped them in cycle of emptiness and futility. The bible says: guard your heart (have it with the right filtering settings) with all diligence because out of it comes the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23).
Once we are born the play button is pressed and there is perpetual stream of information coming in through the eyes and the ears. Information you do not need, and can even be harmful: information that can be like virus in your mind system, crashing it down, unsettling your life, setting it out of course. And there is information that sets it in order. Watch what you watch and filter what you hear. It will go a long way to determine how your life turns out.

The preacher (who wrote the book) complained about the repetitive nature of many things. But he told the young people to seize the moment, saying: seek the Lord in the day of your youth (Ecclesiastes 12:1).

He successfully argued the fact that life on earth is empty of real meaning, and that on the long run, nothing really matters.

And without Christ that is the fate of all. Jesus came to give meaning to our lives. In him we are equipped with supernatural ears and eyes, with the ability to see and hear things of God. It is then that life becomes a delight, lived in connection with and relevance to God, as something that has a desired end, not futile nothingness.

With him, we realise that everything does not end with out last breath. It is actually the beginning, and we will be able to see and hear things in the eternal world, in the world of God, the house of God (John 14:1-3).

Jesus said that is where he came from, and claims that what he brings from there is authentic (John 3:12-13). The bible says that no one has seen God at any time, but the only begotten of the father (Jesus) who is in the bosom of the father has declared him (John 1:18).

Just as there are the physical eyes and ears, there are also spiritual ears and eyes. The bible says God gives the seeing eyes and hearing ears (Proverbs 20:12). Jesus said that he who has ears (no natural ears) should hear what the Spirit is saying (Revelation 2:11).

When God called Jeremiah, to test if the seeing eyes he has been given him as a prophet was in order, He asked him: what do you see? He said: I see the rod of an almond tree. To which God says: I watch over my words to perform it (Jeremiah 1:11-12).

Seeing eyes does not just have to do with picture visions, but the capacity to understanding the things of God. When Paul prayed that the eyes of our understanding be enlightened (Ephesians 1:15-19), it was in reference to having an enlarged capacity to understand spiritual things. Before that, he prayed that God should give the Christians of Ephesus the Spirit of wisdom and understanding in the knowledge of God, that they may know certain things.

That Spirit gives you the ability to grasps spiritual truth beyond the natural reach, so that what the psalmist says about God will come to pass in your life. The psalmist says: God has given me more understanding than my teachers, because your word was my meditation.

But once we are accessing the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, you may start to feel that you do not need teachers but you do because no matter the height of spiritual understanding you get to in this life, what Paul said will always be true: we know in part and we prophesy in part (1Corinthians 13:9-12).

John said that we have an anointing (unction) from the Holy one and we know all things, directly linking the Holy Spirit with our ability to understand things spiritually (1John 2:20, 27). Jesus said the Holy Spirit will teach us all things and brings Jesus’ word (is saying) to our remembrance (mind) (John 16:13-15, 14:26). We are en-capacitated by the Holy Spirit; we are enabled to shift from mere natural understanding to spiritual understanding; we understand things at God’s frequency.

While the seeing eyes in a spiritual sense has to do with knowing things that are, the hearing ears is about getting direction from God. God says: “you will hear a voice behind you saying: ‘this is the way walk in it.’”

Seeing eyes are about what you know, hearing ears about where you go. That could actually stand for a kind of division in the church. One group fixated on knowledge (mainly for he seeing eyes) (tradition-interpretation centric, static, boring), while the other are preoccupied in the prophetic (hearing ears) (direction centric, movement, unstable, exciting).

The real deal is for those on either side of the divide to recognise that they are both extremists and seek to move in each other’s direction.

One needs what the other has. The seeing-eyes-understanding-the-bible ones have the tendency to look down on others who do not fit into their own narrow view of scriptures; they may be at the risk of sending unloving message to those who are different from them, not fully representing the love of God. Hence the dwindling numbers of attendees.

The error of the hearing-ears group is the tendency to develop the cult of personality. When there is the elevation of the gifts of the Spirit (1Corinthians 12:1-11) those who have advanced more in the expression of the gifts get to be projected as the super-spiritual (not necessarily so), with such heavy burden to live up to the expectation of the people and the pressure to perform, that can and lead to breakdown, hence the many moral failures.

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