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March 26

Fluff and Other Stuff

Today’s Scripture & Insight:0Exodus 6:1–9

Winnie the Pooh famously said, “If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.”

I’ve learned over the years that Winnie might be on to something. When someone won’t listen to you even though following your counsel would be to their advantage, it may be that their reticence is nothing more than a small piece of fluff in their ear. Or there may be another hindrance: Some folks find it hard to listen well because they’re broken and discouraged.

Moses said he spoke to the people of Israel but they didn’t listen because their spirits were broken and their lives were hard (Exodus 6:9). The word discouragement in the Hebrew text is literally “short of breath,” the result of their bitter enslavement in Egypt. That being the case, Israel’s reluctance to listen to Moses’s instruction called for understanding and compassion, not censure.

What should we do when others won’t listen? Winnie the Pooh’s words enshrine wisdom: “Be patient.” God says, “Love is patient, love is kind” (1 Corinthians 13:4); it’s willing to wait. He’s not finished with that individual. He’s working through their sorrow, our love, and our prayers. Perhaps, in His time, He’ll open their ears to hear. Just be patient.

Exodus 6:1-9 New International Version (NIV)

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country.

 God also said to Moses, “I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty,[a] but by my name the Lord[b] I did not make myself fully known to them. I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, where they resided as foreigners. Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant.

“Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob.I will give it to you as a possession. I am the Lord.’”

Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and harsh labor.


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