Silly Love Songs

I was just sitting here thinking about an old Paul McCartney song he wrote in his Wings days entitled “Silly Love Songs.” You know the one—

I read somewhere that this song was written in response to John Lennon criticism that McCartney had sold out and was writing silly love songs that sound more like Engelbert Humperdinck. So McCartney wrote "Silly Love Songs" which became a #1 hit (for 5 weeks) and was one of top songs (#13) of the 1970's.

So why bring up silly love songs? Well, it’s Ezekiel's fault. My daily Old Testament reading brought me to Ezekiel 33. Earlier in the chapter, Ezekeiel is given his famous challenge to be God’s Watchman (33:1-20). It was the job of the watchman to sound the alarm when danger threatened the city. If the watchman sound the alarm and the city fell, then he was absolved of responsibility. But if the watchman failed to raise the alarm, then the responsibility for the city’s demise rested on him. Ezekiel then faithfully acts as God’s watchman as he delivers the news
that Jerusalem was going to be destroyed. (33:21-29).

One would think that being a prophet of gloom, doom and destruction would be difficult. Just ask Jeremiah how well such a prophet is treated! But Judah’s response to Ezekiel was very different. There was something about Ekekiel that was evidently entertaining, and the people gathered to watch the show. Notice Ezekiel 33:30-32

“As for you, son of man, your countrymen are talking together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, saying to each other, ‘Come and hear the message that has come from the Lord.’ My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to listen to your words, but they do not put them into practice. With their mouths they express devotion, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice.

Did the people listen to Ezekiel? Yes and no. Yes, they listened… like they would go to a concert and listen to a silly love song. But no, they did not listen… they did not take his words seriously enough to act upon them. God says, “They hear your words but do not put them into practice” (33:32). The text ends on an ominous note for Judah, ““When all this comes true—and it surely will—then they will know that a prophet has been among them.” (33:33)

Do we ever listen to preaching while not listening to it? Have you ever heard a really good sermon, and then you mentioned that it was a really good sermon to someone. And then they asked you, “Really? What did he say?” And you couldn’t really remember? What’s wrong with that? Listening to God’s word does us no good unless we are willing to act on it. We might as well be listening to silly love songs. We might as well be building a house on a foundation of sand.