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What the Bible says about Blindness, Spiritual
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Amos 8:11-12

God says that He will soon send a peculiar famine—not a typical famine of food or water, but a far more destructive one. It strikes at the heart of His people, causing the very fabric of society to unravel.

Notice first that it does not say that it will be a famine of the word of the Lord, but a famine of hearing. God's words will still be available, but it will be rare that those words will be heard. The truth will still be obtainable; His inspired messages will still be accessible. However, as a curse on the land, God will cause truth not to be heard.

This "hearing" is far more than just being aware of words or concepts. It is a hearing that includes focused, careful attention that, taken to its logical conclusion, ends in obedience. The kind of hearing that will be in such short supply is one that causes right action—in fact, the Hebrew word is often translated as "obey." This famine causes God's words not to be heard, and the result is that sin and disobedience flourish—which are a reproach to any nation (Proverbs 14:34). It is a tremendous curse, because without having God's words as guidance—without the light of truth—the nation will be like a blind man, stumbling around and not comprehending why he keeps falling (cf. Deuteronomy 28:29; Isaiah 29:9-10).

This is an unusual curse. It is not like a physical famine, which everyone recognizes as a tragedy. Most of those who are struck by this famine will probably not recognize that it is a true calamity. A famine of hearing the truth will seem like a relief to many, because no voice is calling them into account or prompting them to think about eternity.

However, even though this famine may give the impression that a burden has been lifted, the reality is that without divine instruction, the nation can only stagger toward eventual destruction. Truth is a blessing, but God has every right to withhold it, just as He withholds rain when His people turn from Him. People may be vaguely aware that things are breaking down, that life seems to have a lot more tragedies, and that nothing seems to work as it once did, but they will not make the connection between their hardships and their spiritual deafness.

David C. Grabbe
A Subtle Yet Devastating Curse

Matthew 9:27-30

In this healing miracle, Jesus Christ heals two blind men in Capernaum, probably in Peter's house (Matthew 9:27-31). Peter saw Jesus work several miracles in his house: the healing of his mother-in-law, the healing of the paralytic who was let down through the roof to come before Him, and this restoration of sight to the blind men.

Blindness seems to have been a more common problem in biblical times than today. Afflictions in those times were worse because people lived under poorer conditions and had limited access to medical care, if any was available at all. Nevertheless, these people had hope, for Isaiah 35:5 prophesies of the Messiah and His work: "Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped." This prophecy has a physical and a spiritual fulfillment. When Christ came to earth in the flesh, He healed many physically blind people. More importantly, though, He brought spiritual healing to many by opening their minds to see principles that lead to spiritual life.

Blindness is an appropriate description of sin's effect. For example, a prophecy in Zephaniah 1:17 says, "I will bring distress upon men, and they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD." Sin causes people to grope spiritually at noon just as the blind grope in darkness (Deuteronomy 28:29). Sin puts us in darkness as blindness does, but spiritual darkness is a far worse darkness than its physical counterpart.

Spiritual blindness has only one remedy: Jesus Christ dwelling in us by the power of the Holy Spirit. In this healing of the two blind men, Jesus was physically before them, but for Christians, He is spiritually and personally available to us through the indwelling of His Spirit (John 14:20-23).

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing Two Blind Men (Part One)

Romans 11:8-11

From the Exodus (c. 1445 BC) until Paul wrote this epistle (c. AD 55), the Israelites had not been offered the Holy Spirit (except for those few God specifically called). The bulk of the people had a form of "blindness," or they were "slumber[ing]," as Paul says. While sleeping, a person does not know what is going on; he is oblivious to what is happening around him. It ought to be easy, then, for us to understand Israel's constant bickering, warring, complaining, sexual sins, intrigues, and murders, remembering that they were operating within a God-imposed, spiritual handicap so that an examplecould be set and written for us to learn from. Humanly, it creates quite a deterrent! God, of course, knew what He was doing all along, putting these people through the paces so that our understanding could be deeper and broader.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Pentecost and the Holy Spirit


Find more Bible verses about Blindness, Spiritual:
Blindness, Spiritual {Torrey's}
 




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