Summary: Normally when we think of spiritual blindness in the Word of God we equate it with the lost or the hypocritical Pharisees. In our text God charges His peole with unparalleled spiritual blindness. It is time for God’s people to open their eyes and see.
OPEN YOUR EYES AND YOUR EARS
INTRODUCTION: An elderly woman stood on a busy street corner, hesitant to cross because there was no traffic signal. As she waited, a gentleman came up beside her and asked, "May I cross over with you?" Relieved, she thanked him and took his arm. The path they took was anything but safe. The man seemed to be confused as they dodged traffic and walked in a zigzag pattern across the street. "You almost got us killed!" the woman exclaimed in anger when they finally reached the curb. "You walk like you’re blind!" "I am," he replied. "That’s why I asked if I could cross with you." Jesus Christ asked in Luke 6:39 “Can the blind lead the blind? Shall they not both fall into the ditch?” Normally when we think of spiritual blindness in the Word of God we equate it with the lost or the hypocritical Pharisees, but in our text God lays out a charge of unparalleled spiritual blindness on the part of God’s people.
I. A Charge of Blindness on the Part of God’s People
A. Isaiah 42:19 (MKJV) Who is blind but My servant? Or deaf, as My messenger whom I sent? Who is blind as he who is perfect (at shalom), and blind as Jehovah’s servant?
B. My servant – refers to professed true worshippers (Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible), My Messenger – referring to Israel as those called to deliver God’s message to the world, perfect – those allied in peace and friendship, the confidant of God. (Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament)
C. God’s children are said to have been enlightened - Ephesians 5:8 MKJV For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light.
D. Can there be any sadder charge leveled than when God asks “Who is as blind as my servants?”
E. Matthew 6:23 (MKJV) … If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
II. Looking they see not – Listening they hear not
A. Isaiah 42:20 (MKJV) You see many things, but do not pay attention. Your ears are open, but not any hears.
B. We look at our community but fail to see people, our friends, our neighbors, and our relatives on their way to hell without Christ.
· John 4: 35 Do you not say, There are still four months and then comes the harvest? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!
· John 3:36 He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him.
C. We see the need in the church to utilize our talents and spiritual gifts but pay no attention to the opportunity and blessing resulting from surrendering to serve.
· 1 Peter 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
D. We listen to the appeals to get involved in ministry but fail to hear the Spirit’s call.
E. We see God’s blessings on those that live for Him and His chastisement of those who live for the world and pay no attention.
· Proverbs 12:28 In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death.
F. We are diseased with the blindness of indifference and inattention.
G. Ezekiel 12:2 Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, who have eyes to see and see not. They have ears to hear and hear not, for they are a rebellious house.
H. Robert Bellah, a sociologist who teaches at the University of California at Berkeley, is extremely interested in the influence of religion on the community. In an interview in Psychology Today he said, "We should not underestimate the significance of the small group of people who have a new vision of a just and gentle world. The quality of a culture may be changed when 2 percent of its people have a new vision." There are significantly more than 2 percent Christians in our country and community. Then why aren’t we having more effect? Why aren’t we having more influence? We have lost our vision – adapted from John Stott, "Christians: Salt and Light," Preaching Today, Tape No. 109.
I. Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people perish; but he who keeps the law, he is blessed.
III. The Cause of Spiritual Blindness and Deafness on the Part of God’s Servants
A. What is significant is that this blindness and deafness is voluntary and self-inflicted.