Bible Reading: Isaiah 42:18-25

“He sees many things, but does not observe them; his ears are open, but he does not hear.” (Isaiah 42:20)

Blind people cannot see even if there is a lot of light. Deaf people cannot hear no matter how loud one shouts. The problem is not in the source of light or the source of the sound. The problem is in the person who is blind and deaf. So it is with the Word of God. Whenever God speaks verbally or in writing, His glory does not fail to shine. His call to us is loud and clear. There is nothing wrong with the Word of God. In fact, it contains the precious treasure that our deepest hearts long for, namely, God in His glory. 

But, we do not see, and we do not hear. We put off the church. We put off Bible reading. We put off all things God-related and put on things we can see. We gaze at the bling and glitz of this world like a child enthralled in a candy shop. The sweet sounds of worldly pleasure ring harmoniously in our ears. We are drawn to all the world has to offer, and yet never are we drawn with such strong force to the Word of God. 

What the world offers is a lie. It is sugarcoated deceit. Its sweetness is a disguise for poison. What is real and true is God. That is who our hearts truly long for. To worship and enjoy Him in His glory is the end to which we were created. It is our design and our purpose. Yet, our hearts do not leap joyously when called to worship or obey God. We do so only in fear of judgement, begrudgingly like slaves. There is no joy or freedom. Why?

Because we are blind and deaf! How then are we meant to see? How then are we meant to hear? Paul says, “the letter kills but the Spirit gives life” (2 Corinthians 3:6b). We can read God’s Word, we can listen to preaching Sunday after Sunday, but unless the Spirit gives us life, we will not see or hear. 2 Corinthians 4:4 tells us that “the god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” In place of God are the world’s glories, which are not glories at all in reality. They blind us and keep us from seeing the light of the gospel. 

If we want to see, we need surgical removal of our blinded hearts. Our sin-infested heart must be removed. We need a heart transplant — a clean heart. This is the work of the Spirit. Only He can take away our hearts of stone and give us hearts of flesh. Only He can heal of blindness and cure our dear ears. Without His working, we will continue to be blind and deaf, hardened by our worldliness to the treasure of Christ and the gospel. All we can do is beg Him for a transformed heart. Even now, those whose hearts are veiled will not understand these very words. Let those who have ears to hear, hear and those with eyes to see, see. 

Lord, please have mercy on us and open spiritual eyes and ears to behold You in Your glory. You are the true meaning of life, and if You do not work in us so that we may see, we will never see and live in vain. As You revealed Your glory to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, to Paul, also reveal to us. We are needy, and apart from You, we can do nothing. So we ask in Jesus’ name, amen.