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Eyes to see and ears to hear.

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Gutenberg BibleJesus used this terminology often. (Mat 11.15; 13.9, 43; Mark 4.9, 23; 7.16; Luke 8.8; 14.35.) When he did so, he – as was his practice – was drawing from the Old Testament. One place this language appears in the OT is in Ezekiel 12. There, God condemned Israel as a “rebellious house” because she “has eyes to see but does not see, and ears to hear but does not hear.” (Eze 12.2.) Israel’s rebellion, in other words, manifested itself in willful blindness and deafness to what God had set forth for her in his word. Combining this spiritual phenomenon with what we find elsewhere in Scripture, we see that part of God’s judgment on such willful blindness and deafness is to consign those who practice them to more of the same, until they come to the point where they no longer have eyes to see or ears to hear. (Mat 13.13-16.)

This is a chilling warning to all of us. If we won’t see and hear what God sets forth for us in his word, the day will come when we can’t see or hear it. And never forget that seeing and hearing in the Bible are metaphors for believing and obeying. (Psalm 18.44; John 20.8; James 1.22-25.)  Thus, James tells us that willful disobedience to God’s word is never simply disobedience; it always entails self-deception as well. (James 1.22-25.) And self-deception, as God showed Israel, is a very dangerous thing.

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  1. Thank you for remminding me that this was a metaphor for believing and obeying. I had forgotten this and when I was seaching for the scripture address. I am grateful for your words today.

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