According to the World Health Organization, more than a billion young people are at risk of hearing loss because of personal audio devices and damaging levels of sound at some entertainment venues, where noise levels can top 120 decibels for hours on end! Doctors warn that a steady onslaught of loud noise, particularly through earbuds, is damaging the hearing ability of a generation.

Physical hearing loss is a serious problem, but spiritual deafness can be devastating. Can you imagine speaking God’s Word to people who intentionally plugged their ears to your message? That’s exactly what the prophet Jeremiah experienced.

Jeremiah’s calling as God’s mouthpiece required him to warn his own people. He warned Judah of its spiritual deafness and that its subsequent rebellion against God would lead to His discipline (Jeremiah 6:1,6). But they, and every segment of society, refused to listen. They willfully plugged their ears and blatantly didn’t take God’s correction seriously. The people were so far from Him that His messages and warnings had become offensive to them. Jeremiah wondered, “To whom can I give warning? Who will listen when I speak? Their ears are closed, and they cannot hear. They scorn the word of the Lord. They don’t want to listen at all” (Jeremiah 6:10).

Going against God’s ways brings spiritual hearing loss. Only through repentance—surrendering our pride and power before God—and trusting in Jesus, will our ability to hear Him be restored (Isaiah 35:5; Luke 7:22). Because spiritual hearing is a “gift” from God (Proverbs 20:12), let’s ask Him to give us ears to hear so that we can faithfully respond to His Word.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: 2 Timothy 3:1-17