(Job 34:3 and 4, Amplified Bible) For the ear tries words as the palate tastes food. Let us choose for ourselves which is right; let us know among ourselves what is good.

These words are from the mouth of Elihu, the fourth counselor to Job. Elihu makes a very great point in these two verses. First, we tend to hear but not listen. We take in great amounts of words but do not chew them and get the truth out of them. If a person just swallowed food in the biggest pieces possible, the food would not be well digested and would pass on through without nurturing the body. When we hear without trying the words, the words go in and do not nurture our souls. We become malnourished even though there is a preponderance of information to edify. Just as our palate tests food for flavor and nutrition, our ears are able to test the words or ideas for truth. This happens at a spiritual level of understanding. Of course our ears hear and send signals to the brain and the brain does the figuring of the idea and the truth. But if the listening does not go to the deeper thought and understand the deeper thought, there is no edification.

Elihu continues with the concept of choosing. If the words and ideas are not chewed well, how can a person use them for the energy of relating to one another. There comes a fatigue in the relationship when the choosing is absent. The words of Scripture tell us over and over of the power of choosing and that we are to choose. (Joshua 24:15 NKJV) And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. If we choose that which is good, we will flourish and be well. If we choose wrong, we will become sickly and probably die of bad choices. Unless the ear tastes for the truth, we will swallow the wrong with our ears and not flourish but die. Our soul depends on us being wise choosers.

I don't knowWhat have we to use to choose? We need a background knowledge of the truth that tests all ideas that come into the life of the relationship. If we have no breadth of knowledge of the truth, we will swallow that which poisons us. Many of God’s children do not know the Scriptures or Jesus. Jesus is the Truth and so can be a background knowledge of what to vocally eat and thrive upon. The Scriptures are not opened to the one who does not know Jesus. So many eat chunks of scripture and they are not digested at all. The Spirit of God tests our hearts. (1 Thessalonians 2:4) But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts. To please God we must be testing the words we use and the words we hear and discern the truth. When we test and find there is no truth in what we hear, we ought to "eat" no more of such. When we test and find the truth is present, we will be nourished of God and found to be proving what is His good and perfect will. So when you hear, take time to "chew-s" well and be well. The heart that hears well "chews-es" well. Let us choose well from what we "chew-s."