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Surprised by the Power of Listening

John A Carroll

Week 30 in the Word--July 23, 2021

As a young Christian, I was taught by the Navigators that the Bible is essential for our spiritual health and growth. There are five ways we may take in the Scriptures: hear, read, study, memorize, and meditate. Hearing the Bible is now a surprisingly useful option.

It was not always that way. A few years ago it was complicated to obtain and use an audio version of the Bible. I remember when you had buy a set of cassette tapes which came in an case--expensive and clunky. The only option available was the King James Version of the Bible read by Alexander Scourby.

So earlier in my life listening to the Bible was not much of an option.

But now, with the advent of Bible websites (like Bible Gateway or Crossway ) and many audio versions of the Bible the opportunity to hear the Bible read by several different readers is accessible and often without charge. Now there is no obstacle to listening to the Bible except to obtain a computer, iPad, or smart phone.

I have been amazed by how much I love listening to the Bible. While listening I read along from my open Bible with a pencil at hand to mark passages for further study or jot down questions for further consideration.

Recently, I read and listened to the book of Job in large chunks read from the ESV Bible by Max McLean. Job came alive as I listened. McLean catches the inflection of each speaker so well that I could hardly stop listening when Mary called me for breakfast.

Speaking of Mary, she loves to listen to the Scriptures while working in the plant and flower beds around our house. She uses ear pods with her iPhone. One day, she listened to 110 Psalms non-stop while weeding the beds and “deadheading” her flowers. She joyfully commented, “I never realized how many psalms of lament there were and how many psalms include at least some element of lament.” She was comforted to know that God’s Spirit inspired the psalmist to write so many emotionally raw desperate cries in His Word. The psalmist also tells why He does this:

As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. Psalm 103:13-14 (ESV)

God's love flows through His Word to our hearts and listening to it can be a big help in your spiritual growth.

Maybe you are not a big fan of this technology. That’s OK. But we are two senior citizens who have been delighted to add this audio option to our daily intake of God’s Word. If you cannot figure how it works, there is probably a child or teen you know who will be glad to help you. Maybe you too will be surprised by the power of listening.

Have a great week in the Word.

Week of July 23-29, 2021

July 23/Day 204 God’s Providential Care (Psalms 38-40; Acts 23:12-35) July 24/Day 205 Now or Never: The Procrastinator’s Dilemma (Psalms 41-43; Acts 24) July 25/Day 206 God Will be Glorified (Psalms 44-46; Acts 25) July 26/Day 207 The Pompous Dead (Psalms 47-49; Acts 26) July 27/Day 208 Sunless Days and Starless Nights (Psalms 50-52; Acts 27:1-25) July 28/Day 209 Contagious Confidence (Psalms 53-55; Acts 27:26-44) July 29/Day 210 When Theory Becomes Reality (Psalms 56-58; Acts 28:1-15) For a copy of Concealed and Revealed: A Year in the Old and New Testaments click here.


Tip of the week: Try listening to the Bible during your daily devotions or even while you do other things.

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