We began Wednesday night talking about Paul’s testimony of how he was saved. Jesus talked about the spiritual blindness of the lost. The saved can fall into a blindness too. We need clear eyes and ears to know truth from error. The Lord gave Isaiah a message for the people of Israel who were on their way to captivity in Babylon. They were willfully becoming blind and deaf to their spiritual condition. They served the idols Baal and Dagon, a sad shape they had gotten into. God’s city was destroyed. The land of Israel had been the best place to live and God now put them in the worst place in Babylon.
The way to the soul is the senses. Vision and hearing are a blessing. When they don’t work as they should it is a big hindrance. It’s wonderful that technology is available for hearing and eyes. There didn’t used to be any help for either but now with hearing aids and surgeries people can see and hear better. We have to watch out for spiritual blindness and deafness. We have to stay sharp with eyes wide open and ears clear lest we are deceived.
Isaiah 42:14 I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once. 16 And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. 18 Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see. 19 Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger that I sent? who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the Lord’s servant? 20 Seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears, but he heareth not. 21 The Lord is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable. 22 But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore. 23 Who among you will give ear to this? who will hearken and hear for the time to come?
What a question goes out about the senses of our soul and spirit. When we accept Jesus we become a new creature through the Spirit of God. Our eyes and ears were opened. We heard and saw through our soul. Our sins and Satan had prevented us from seeing Jesus. But we saw the truth.
The other day I was driving and a man was walking his dog and playing with his phone. If it hadn’t been for the dog jerking the man out of the way, the traffic would have hit him. He could hear; he could see, but he chose not to do either. The lost are still lost either because they’ve not heard the gospel or they have heard and rejected. They stopped up their eyes and ears.
We know better. Our eyes and ears are open to God but spiritual blindness can creep back in and we become lax in our duties. We are not vigilant as we should be. We’re not watching out for the devil. When we don’t keep the line clear our vision becomes dim and our hearing dull. That’s what happened with Israel; it’s happening today. By compromising we become dull. The Word doesn’t mean as much as it did. Sin isn’t as wrong as it used to be. The devil doesn’t look as dangerous. He’s still a roaring lion out to destroy! We cannot fight him on our own. Paul said he had confidence only in the Lord. He was cautious. He could have bragged about his apostleship or teaching but he realized that without God he was nothing. If you’re cold in the heart, you have dimmed eyes. Doesn’t that stir your heart? Do we see God when we come to church or do we just see ourselves? What is this person talking about or this one? Is your mind on that instead of God? This kind of thing will kill a church. If the Word doesn’t speak to you, something is wrong. In God’s house we are to give him what he wants: our attention, our vision, our hearing, and the application of the teaching of his Word. If we don’t see God, it is our own fault and no one else’s. No one makes you hard of seeing or hearing but you. Our ears are stuffed with too much stuff. Our eyes have on sunglasses. We need to get them off so the vision of the heart can see unshaded. We’ve stopped up our ears with all kinds of junk. No wonder God can’t get through to us.
What you used to see and hear is still there. God can see just as good as he used to. Here’s the challenge. Verse 14 says God has restrained himself but now he’s speaking out loud and clear. He’s always visible and always audible. The problem with hearing and seeing is ours, not God’s. He said Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see. We’re the servants who are to witness but God can’t use us because we’re deaf and blind. If God can’t get to us how can we be used? Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger that I sent? who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the Lord’s servant? Some think they are perfect but they’re not. A healthy relationship with God is shown by how much we know him. Knowing him requires growth. For Christians to keep growing, the inlet is through our spiritual eyes and ears. They are entrances to the soul.
This is what Jesus kept telling the Pharisees. They thought they knew it all. We need the Lord now more than ever. Be careful about claiming how good you are when there is sin in your life. Do you claim to be serving God when you’re not? Has something stopped up your ears? Is what you used to see now a blur? Maybe we need a cataract surgery or an ear cleaning. Verse 21 tells us there is nothing wrong with God or his law. He doesn’t do the changing; we do.
Here’s the invitation. Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see. When we do this the Lord will once again lead us as he should.