When I was younger, I was allowed to play in the neighborhood around my house but I had to be within “the sound of my mom’s whistle.” Now, my mom could whistle very loud, one of those earth-shattering, car-stopping whistles. I feel sorry for my boys b/c neither myself or my wife can whistle very loud – they will not even be able to leave the driveway. No matter how loud the whistle was, two reasons I got myself in trouble: (1) I ventured too far so I could not hear her whistle & (2) There was too much other noises going on so I could not hear her whistle. And just like my mom calling me home; God says in Zechariah 10:8, “I will whistle for them and gather them in…” Can you hear His whistle?
Have you gone too far away to hear his whistle? God states in Zechariah 10:8-10 & 12,…” I have redeemed you, although you have been scattered, you shall remember me and with your children you shall live and return….I will bring you home…I will make you strong in the Lord and you shall walk in His name…” The Lord himself is whistling for you – He is the one that stands on the edge of the porch and beckons you home. Our problem, just like when I was young, I thought the boundaries of my neighborhood was too confining so we venture out until we can no longer hear the whistle. And once we go beyond the sound of the whistle, we think we are free but in reality, we have created another set of boundaries – self-imposed boundaries that may not be safe. And just like my mom, the boundaries God creates are not to stifle our freedom but to release it in the context of love. Proverbs 6:22, concerning staying within the sound of God’s whistle, reads, “When you walk, they will lead you, when you lie down, they will watch over you and when you awake they will talk with you.” God’s commandments (what may people view as restrictive boundaries) are meant to lead, watch and talk with you – sounds very relational to me just like the sound of my mom’s whistle. And remember this, if you can no longer hear his whistle, He has not stopped whistling – He, just like my mom did, starts walking toward you whistling so you can hear – ready to redeem you – bring you home and make you strong.
Maybe you have not gone too far but you still cannot hear the whistle. I can remember saying to my mom, I could not hear your whistle b/c everyone else was screaming or a host of other reasons – none of them worked; I was supposed to be able to hear her whistle, plain and simple. Zechariah 10:2 declares, “For the household gods utter nonsense…” When I read this verse, I immediately thought of TV. Now, I know the TV does not have to be a god but many times, it does utter nonsense that we listen to and, if you are anything like me, it causes me not to hear anything even if the whistle was in my ear. But it is more than that, we, are like what Paul writes about in 2 Timothy 4:3, “…people will not endure sound teaching but gather around teachers who tickle their ears…” This verse is stating a simple fact – we do not want to hear the whistle of the Lord. Let’s be honest, when my mom whistled for me to come home, it was not a tickle in my ear. I was not ready so I pretended I did not hear – I listen to other friends tickle my ears about how it must have been a train, the wind, anything but sound doctrine. Is that not what we do to the whistle of the Lord –we pretend we do not hear it b/c it does not tickle our ear so we listen to everything and everyone else that will tickle our ears even if it is not sound teaching. What or who are you listening to that tickles your ear?
Prayer: Lord, let me be close enough to hear your whistle – let me be attentive to it and when I hear it, run home and be refreshed– let me able to discern it even when at times it may be a faint whisper. Let me not be satisfied with my ears being tickled by what I think I want to hear but let me love your word – love you – that word that wants to walk with me – lead me and talk with me – let me be relational with you as you desire to be with me.