How is your hearing?
The deaf and hard of hearing account for the single largest group of disabled Americans (28 of 49 million). Twenty-eight million is more than all those with heart disease, cancer, multiple sclerosis, blindness, tuberculosis, and kidney disease combined. Approximately 12 percent of the U.S. population suffers from hearing loss. Only 9.7 percent of people over 65 have normal hearing.
The Bible speaks often of ears and hearing. Solomon said, "The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them" (Proverbs 20:12). God wanted Israel to "give ear to his commandments" (Exodus 15:26), and Israel pleaded with God to "give ear" unto their prayers (Psalm 86:6). The Jewish Shema begins, "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord" (Deuteronomy 6:4).
The Bible also speaks of hearing loss. Jesus healed a deaf man (Mark 7:31-37), but He was unable to help some whose spiritual ears were "dull of hearing" (Matthew 13:15). He did not force them to hear His saving message, but He did encourage them to listen: "Who hath ears to hear, let him hear" (Matthew 13:9).
What about us? How is our hearing?