The Hearing Ear and the Seeing Eye
The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord has made them both. (Proverbs 20:12)
From the aspect of Divine Creation, this verse speaks of the ingenious and miraculous development of the human ear and the human eye. Both of these organs strongly testify to the existence of God.
But as we consider the context of the book of Proverbs, the verse relates to the topic of wisdom. It is wise to understand the role of the hearing ear; it is wise to understand the role of the seeing eye. That is, it is wise to use our ears for what God designed them for. Likewise, it’s wise to use our eyes for God’s intended purposes.
I quote the inimitable Yogi Berra on the subject of the seeing eye: “You can observe a lot just by watching.” So true … if we pay attention, we can see much more than most, and certainly much more that we’d seen before.
I was wondering what might be a similar kind of statement relating to the hearing ear. This is what I came up with: “You can hear a lot just by listening.”
Isn’t it interesting that the eye and the ear are receptive in nature? That is, they take in information rather than sending it out.
What that means practically is that we should use our ears for their intended purpose: to listen. It’s not easy to find a good listener. Does that correspond to the difficulty in finding a wise person? It’s not easy to find an observing person. Does that correspond to the difficulty in finding a wise person?
I think so. Whereas James tells us that we should all be swift to hear and slow to speak, oftentimes people are swift to speak and slow to hear. Again, a lack of wisdom.
“Wisdom is the principal thing;
Therefore get wisdom.
And in all your getting, get understanding.” (Proverbs 4:7)