Psalm 34:15 (NKJV) — 15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry.
The second part of this verse continues to give us a look at the heart of our God.
“His ears are open to our prayers”
As our prayers are personal to us, they are more personal to Him. He isn’t merely hearing our words; He is listening with a Father’s loving heart. Here are some additional scriptures that paint the same vivid picture of God’s Fatherly love and listening heart:
Job 36:7 — He does not withdraw His eyes from the righteous; But they are on the throne with kings, For He has seated them forever, And they are exalted.
Psalm 33:18 — Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy,
Psalm 145:18–19 — The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them.
Matthew 7:11 — If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
Who are These People Who Have God’s Ear?
Psalm 34:15 and I Peter 3:12 tell us that God is involved in the prayers of a particular people. We must be clear on this point for the simple reason that God has made it clear and specific in these passages and the reason of scripture. God is attentive to the prayers of “the just” or “the righteous.” Who are the “the just” and “the righteous?” Are these general terms? The Spirit of God has carefully defined them so that we can know what God is promising to whom, and therefore have confidence in our prayers.
According to the Bible, these terms do not refer to people who are kind-hearted or who do charitable deeds (Luke 18:19). They are not religious labels that are earned from keeping the Ten Commandments (as if anyone could), or from attending and/or joining a local church (Galatians 2:16). These terms have nothing to do with a physical, intellectual, ethnic, or social category (Philippians 3:3-9). No one can spiritually evolve to a sinless or esoteric state of righteousness (Luke 18:9–14). Being made “just” is a gift of God’s love for those redeemed by the sacrifice of Christ (Romans 5:8-11; 18-19). Jesus Christ is the One who makes a person “just” and “righteous” (I Corinthians 1:30). By the way, if you try to add to His salvific work, “you are severed from Christ … you have fallen away from grace” (Galatians 5:4). Salvation is from Christ alone; by faith alone; through His grace alone (Ephesians 2:8-10).
I recommend looking each of the scripture references up and feeding on the manna that the Lord is saying to you.
Okay, I think the scriptures hit that nail on the head and hammered the truth into us too far to be pulled out and misconstrued. So be careful not to add your own considerations and opinions to what God’s Word says. On the lighter side, Mark Twain’s humorous understanding of meriting heaven is a reminder that we’re not as righteous as we think we are.
Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.
Twain was closer to orthodoxy than he knew. Heaven does go by favor. You’re in by Jesus’ favor or not at all. If by faith you have embraced the righteousness of Christ as your spiritual position and identity, then you are “the just” and “the righteous” referred to in Psalm 34:15 and I Peter 3:12. Pretty simple, wouldn’t you say? No working, just believing and trusting. Now let that faith and trust work out in a life that follows Him.
There’s a flip-side to our texts–Psalm 34:15 & I Peter 3:12. It isn’t so warm and fuzzy. That’s coming in the next post.
As those whom have been made righteous by Christ Jesus, let us rejoice in Him. Let our hearts be filled with thanksgiving. Let this joy of salvation flow like a river out of our souls. As II Corinthians 2:15 says, let us be “the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.” We have something to joyful about, a joy that should sustain for a life-time … and beyond. Amen?!
A caution flag for the reader:
Do not let familiarity with the simplicity of Psalm 34:15 allow your mind to “check-off” this verse from your theological “got-it” list. This verse of scripture (as with I Peter 3:12) is the Gospel. It is because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that this is real and can be believed and can be stood upon. The Spirit of God wants us to burn the message of this verse(s) into our minds, souls, into our view of God, and our view of ourselves. My advice is to put this verse before you and recite it to yourself daily when you begin praying. Remind yourself of the depth of what Jesus Christ has made you and accomplished for you. Let the Gospel of Jesus Christ within this verse(s) direct, establish, and motivate your fellowship with God the Father. These verses are life-changers, because the truth of the Gospel changes lives.