Isaiah 6:9-10 He said, “Go and tell this people: ” ‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’ 10 Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”
Suppose we are walking down the street and we see a man walking along throwing $100 bills in the air. What would our response be? Would we ignore him because we doubted that the bills are real? How about getting angry with him because he’s littering? Would we stand back and criticize the people scrambling to pick up the bills as they were scattered on the street?
Now, let’s tweak the situation a bit. Suppose that we happened to be in the bank in line behind this person when he received 1,000 $100 bills. We stood there and watched the money being given to him. We then followed the person out of the bank and saw him begin to walk along throwing these $100 bills, which we knew were real, into the air. What would our response be now? Would we be scrambling after the money with everyone else? Or would we be upset with him for littering? Sounds absurd, doesn’t it – except it’s not!
Today’s verses are some of the most frightening verses in the Bible for they describe a condition that can happen to us and we won’t likely know it. The condition they describe would cause us to be angry with the man for littering in the above illustration. The fact that the $100 bills were real would be irrelevant. We would be consumed with our perceived impropriety of it all.
Think of Jesus and the miracles that He did – particularly those done on the Sabbath. The Pharisees and religious leaders had a fit and wanted to kill Him for it. The fact that the stunning miracles were real was irrelevant to them. They were blind to the reality of what was going on in front of them! John’s gospel describes their condition (12:37-41):
37Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 38This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet:
“Lord, who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
39For this reason they could not believe, because, as
Isaiah says elsewhere: 40“He has blinded their eyes
and deadened their hearts,
so they can neither see with their eyes,
nor understand with their hearts,
nor turn—and I would heal them.”
41Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him.
To be continued…