WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
FEBRUARY 23, 2023
TOPIC: WHO IS AS BLIND AS GOD’S PEOPLE?
BY T. O. BANSO
“Who is blind but My servant, Or deaf as My messenger whom I send? Who is blind as he who is perfect, And blind as the LORD’S servant?” (Isaiah 42:19 New King James Version)
In Matthew 23:16-25, Jesus referred to the scribes and Pharisees as blind (verses 16, 17, 19, & 24). He also referred to the Pharisees in verse 26 as “Blind Pharisee.” These religious leaders were spiritually blind and didn’t acknowledge that they were blind so that their eyes could be opened. Therefore, Jesus couldn’t heal them.
See the conversation between Jesus and some Pharisees in John 9:39-41: “And Jesus said, ‘For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.’ Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, ‘Are we blind also?’ Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains” (New King James Version).
In other words, only those who acknowledge that they are blind need their eyes to be opened. But those who say they can see don’t need their eyes to be opened just as Jesus said only those who are sick need a physician, not those who are healthy (Matthew 9:12; Mark 2:17; Luke 5:31). Jesus was talking about spiritual blindness and sickness.
The religious leaders claimed they could see while they were blind. Therefore, Jesus said, about the Pharisees, “Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch” (Matthew 15:14 New King James Version). In Luke 6:39, He asked, “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch?” (New King James Version).
The blindness of the Jewish religious leaders was part of the general blindness of the Israelites, God’s covenant people. God said, “Who is blind but My servant, Or deaf as My messenger whom I send? Who is blind as he who is perfect, And blind as the LORD’S servant?” (Isaiah 42:19 New King James Version). The words servant and messenger in this scripture refer to the Israelite exiles. God had chosen the Israelites as His people. “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth” (Deuteronomy 7:6 New King James Version). Deuteronomy 14:2 and Psalm 135:4 say a similar thing.
God chose the Israelites as His servant and messenger to the world but God said that the Israelites were blind and deaf more than the other nations taking into consideration what God had spoken to them and shown them. They were blind and deaf toward God; they refused to listen and wouldn’t see. The Living Bible puts Isaiah 42:19 thus: “Who in all the world is as blind as my own people, who are designed to be my messengers of truth? Who is so blind as my ‘dedicated one,’ the ‘servant of the Lord’?”
Verse 20 says, “You see and understand what is right but won’t heed nor do it; you hear, but you won’t listen.” It’s an irony that the LORD’s servant or messenger would be blind and deaf. God said in verse 18, “You who are deaf, hear me. You who are blind, look and see”(New Century Version).
God was talking to the Israelites but is also talking to the church, for the church is called out of the world. God has chosen the church as His servant and messenger to the world. “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9 New King James Version).
Unfortunately, just like the Israelites, the church is sometimes blind and deaf. The Easy-to-Read Version puts Isaiah 42:19 this way: “In all the world, no one is more blind than my servant. No one is more deaf than my messenger. No one is more blind than my chosen people, the servant of the Lord.”
Does the church see what God has been showing her? Do we listen to what God has been telling us? Are we obeying Him? To whom much is given, much is required. “But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” (Luke 12:48 New International Version).
Why is it that in the entire world, no one is blinder than God’s servant and deafer than His messenger, as God said in Isaiah 42:19 in the Easy-to-Read Version? God said about the Israelites, which is also applicable to the church, “‘My people see what they should do, but they do not obey me. They can hear with their ears, but they refuse to listen to me.’ The Lord wants them to do what is right. He wants them to honor his wonderful teachings. But look at his people. Others have defeated them and have stolen from them. The young men are afraid. They are locked in prisons. People have taken advantage of them, and there is no one to protect them. Others take their money, and there is no one to say, ‘Give it back!’” (Isaiah 42:20-22 Easy-to-Read).
We must see what God is showing us and listen to what He is saying to us and do it. God wants us to obey His Word. If we love Him, we should keep His commandments (John 14:15). To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams (1 Samuel 15:22b). Jesus said in Mark 16:15 to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. How many Christians obey this? There are other teachings of Jesus we should obey. We should not be like the Israelites whom God said had seen much, but did not obey and had heard but refused to listen.
The eyes and ears of the church must be opened to see, listen to, and do what God is showing and saying to us. Have you noticed the phrase in the Bible: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”? (Matthew 11:15; 13:9, 43; Mark 4:9; Luke 8:8; 14:35). A similar phrase is used in the book of Revelation: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6; 13, 22). Also, Revelation 13:9 says, “If anyone has an ear, let him hear” (New King James Version). I pray that you won’t be deaf to God.
The Laodicean church didn’t know she was blind, among other things. But Jesus, in the letter to the angel of this church, asked her to buy from Him medicine to put on her eyes so that she could truly see (Revelation 3:18). May the Lord open your ears and eyes? Who is blind but God’s servant, or deaf as His messenger whom He sends?
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, deliver your church from spiritual blindness and deafness. Open our eyes to see and our ears to hear. Open the ears of Your church to hear what the Spirit says to us. The church and its leaders won’t be blind guides or leaders in Jesus’ name.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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