Have you ever been looking for your lost car keys and they are right in front of you? It is almost as if in a frantic hurry to get out the door to complete your task, you were so preoccupied with the end goal that you were blinded from seeing the keys.
While science races for cures to blindness and even the WHO saying up to 80 percent of physical vision impairments can be avoided or cured, some may forget that the God of Israel has long had a connection with spiritual blindness and love for the blind.
When God was giving Moses his task and Moses was questioning his own ability, the King of Israel said, “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD?” (Exodus 4:11). Continuing in the beginning of the Bible, God says, “Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but fear your God. I am the LORD.” (Leviticus 19:14). And again, “Cursed is the man who leads the blind astray on the road.” (Deuteronomy 27:18)
In these three examples we can see two key things, God’s ability to give and take away sight, but also the love and care He places on blind people.
Deuteronomy 28:29 gives us a glimpse at a different way God uses blindness, as a consequence for disobeying God’s ways. This is one of the consequences listed, “And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways: and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save thee.”
Perhaps the fulfillment of that is in Isaiah 59:10, “Like the blind we grope along the wall, feeling our way like men without eyes. At midday we stumble as if it were twilight; among the strong, we are like the dead.”
The book of Isaiah contains multiple passages that deal with blindness. One instance when speaking of the wicked spiritual condition of the city of David, God says,
“For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.” (Isaiah 29:10-14)
Another passage in Isaiah after the day of the Lord commences in chapter 34 and Idumea is judged, we see a something positive God does with the blind,
“Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes. And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.” (Isaiah 35:5-8)
Jeremiah perhaps speaks of this same group of people,
“For thus saith the Lord; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O Lord, save thy people, the remnant of Israel. Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither. They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn. Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.” (31:7-10)
If you continue on in Jeremiah 31 you see that these people are Ephraim, the House of Israel that split from the covenant, God’s ways and unity with the House of Judah in 1 Kings 12. Going even further back it ties into the blindness that God mentioned in Deuteronomy 28 for this disobedience.
If you continue in Jeremiah 31, we see God making a new covenant with the House of Israel and the House of Judah writing His ways on their hearts and He will forgive their iniquity.
If I’m correct in the order of the completion of this covenant and the timing of the removing of their blindness, it is after the day of the Lord begins and Israel’s enemies are punished. This also aligns with the events Ezekiel saw in Chapter 37 and on.
Being that these events may be in motion but haven’t finished, as the Redemption is clearly not complete, what lesson is there to learn about God’s use of blindness and love for the blind?
First, for the physically blind, let us be loving and caring to them as God is. The WHO says that you could walk past someone visually impaired and not know it. Maybe next time someone bumps into you, be patient if you in the past would’ve been irritable towards them; they may not be able to see you. Another related example of this type of love is when the IDF and Israeli government provide medical treatment for the very terrorists that attack them.
On the spiritual level, isn’t it even more important that those that follow the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob be exceedingly patient and loving to those that are spiritually visually impaired by not being irritable or judgmental in response to them? Even beyond that, we shouldn’t proactively go after those that we view as spiritually visually impaired attacking them with our own personal opinions, but should treat them how we would want to be treated if we were spiritually blind. For who has perfect eyesight but the King of Israel?
In this article which is part of the Family of God series that I’m writing, hopefully as those that are trying to strengthen ties between this family discuss and engage at events and other areas of collaboration, may we treat each other spiritually with love as though each other may be spiritually visually impaired to each other’s perspectives at times.
The last point regarding blindness to address is that it is a consequence for Israel (the 12 tribes and the strangers joined to them) for abandoning God’s ways for idolatry from the nations (Gentiles, pagans) that do not know the Holy One of Israel. Whatever we are engaged in may we first ensure we are not blind because of straying from God’s ways, and then treat each other with love. Remember your brother or sister may not see you, but He who keeps Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.
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Source: Israel in the News