Hearing Ears and Seeing Eyes (1)
Brian D. Dykstra, teacher at Hope PR Christian School in Walker, MI
“The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them” (Proverbs 20:12).
This verse in Proverbs speaks of two of our five senses: hearing and sight. These are the two senses most closely associated with instruction. Although there are times when students learn by means of the sense of touch, the use of the senses of taste and smell are not commonly used here in school. Most of what we learn enters our minds through our ears and eyes.
The ear has three main parts. There is the outer ear. This is the part of the ear which we can see. It serves as a funnel to catch sound waves. Our outer ears are not very good at catching sounds when compared to the donkey or rabbit. Some animals can even turn their ears to capture sounds better. We cannot do that. That’s why we sometimes cup our hands behind our ears. Just inside our head is the ear canal. Its function is to bring sound vibrations further inside the head. At the end of the ear canal is the eardrum, a delicate membrane which vibrates when struck by sound waves. The ear canal is rather small and the eardrum is very delicate, so it’s not a good idea to put things in it. The inner ear has three of the smallest bones in the body which move in response to the vibrations of the eardrum. These bones pass vibrations to the cochlea. The cochlea is spiral shaped, is filled with fluid, and has small hairs in it. These hairs move as vibrations pass through the liquid. The hairs are attached to nerves which then carry these messages to the brain. The brain processes this information into the sounds which we recognize.
The hearing ear is a wonderful creation of God. We can recognize the voices of our loved ones and have fellowship with them. We hear the songs of birds and waves at the beach. There is the sound of the wind in the trees and soon we will hear the leaves scurrying across the ground. Perhaps in several weeks we will hear the favourite sound of junior high students: the sound of blowing and drifting snow.
God is also the creator of the seeing eye. As we follow a beam of light into the eye, we first come to the cornea. It is a transparent membrane which has a delicate curve. Light then travels through the pupil which is a small opening in the iris, the coloured part of the eye. The pupil can change size. The brighter the light, the smaller the pupil will be. When the light becomes darker, the pupil becomes larger to allow more light to enter the eye. Light then passes through a lens. This lens can change shape depending on whether we are looking at something close or far away. The back of the eye is covered with cells which are sensitive to light. The cells are nerve cells which then send messages to the brain where all this information is processed so we can understand what we see.
With our eyes we can see the wonders which God has made. We can recognize the faces of our loved ones. Imagine the confusion there would be after church if you couldn’t recognize the family vehicle or if everyone looked the same to you! How would you be sure to return to the right family? We see the beautiful autumn trees and clouds in the sky. We see fields ready for harvest and freshly mown lawns. During Thanksgiving, we will see tables filled will delicious things to eat.
Our ears are very sensitive and can hear a wide ranges of sounds. Since God is the creator of our ears, no doubt His ears are much more sensitive than ours. If sounds have a pitch which is either too high or too low, we cannot hear them. Bats can hear sounds which have a much higher pitch than what we can hear. Elephants can hear lower sounds. Robins can hear the sound of worms crawling through the ground. Also, there are sounds which are too faint for us to hear clearly. If sounds are too loud, we can suffer damage to our ears and they might not ever be the same again. God does not have that problem. He can hear sounds of every pitch and all volumes.
Our Father’s ears are sensitive to the sound of our prayers. He heard the prayers offered to Him this morning in school. He hears the prayers of families at dinner tables. God’s ears are so sensitive, He can even hear the prayers which we utter in the silence of our hearts. We don’t have to speak out loud in order for God to hear us.
God also hears all the words we speak. I cannot do that. If too many students are talking at once in the classroom, I cannot pick up all the words in order to understand all the words which are being spoken. That’s why students have to have permission to speak in class. When I am out on the playground during recess, I hear the many voices of happy children but I cannot listen to all of the different conversations at once. God does not have that problem. He hears every word we speak, no matter how many people are speaking at that time.
God’s ears are so good, He can even hear the thoughts of our hearts. What would the people around us think of us if everything we ever thought, we said out loud? There are many things which we think in our hearts which we are glad nobody can hear. If everyone could hear all of our thoughts about them, how many friends would we have? God can hear all of these things. There is no thought which we can keep secret from Him.
It is the same with our eyes. There are wavelengths of light which we cannot see. Doctors do not have X-ray vision in order to determine whether or not we have broken our arm or leg. We cannot see the markings on flowers which bees can. There are things which are too small or too distant for us to see. God does not have this limitation. He can see all things.
... to be continued