Spiritual Blindness

Reading: 2 Kings 6: 1-18; Luke 24: 13-48 The king of Syria sent a very large
army, with horses and chariots to capture Elisha, because he revealed his secret
plans to the king of Israel. In the morning, Elisha's servant went outside and saw the
great army and cried out to his master saying, "Alas, my master! How shall we do?"
He was full of fear. Elisha told him that he had no need to be afraid because they
had a greater and mightier army than the enemy. The servant thought, "Is my
master trying to fool me? Where is this army he is talking about?" Elisha had told the
truth but the servant was blind and that is why he could not see the heavenly army.
When Elisha prayed, God opened the eyes of the young man. Then he saw the whole
mountain full of horses and chariots of fire.

This young man had been serving Elisha, the man of God, and had seen many
miracles. Yet he was blind. He had seen Naaman being cured of leprosy. Also, in 2
kings 4:38-44, when Elisha came to Gilgal, there were a hundred sons of the
prophets waiting to see him. One man went out to gather some leaves for cooking
and unknowingly gathered wild poisonous herbs. When they sat for food they
discovered that there was poison in the food. They cried out to Elisha. He asked
them to cast some meal in the food. Then they were able to eat it without danger.
Again, in vs.42-44, he had seen Elisha performing another miracle of multiplying
food. The servant of Elisha had seen all these miracles. But his eyes were not yet
opened to see heavenly things. He was spiritually blind.

After Naaman was healed of his leprosy, he brought some gifts for Elisha,
because his heart was full of gratitude. But Elisha refused to receive this gift. Gehazi
thought to himself that Elisha had made a very big mistake. So he ran behind the
chariot, told a lie to Naaman and got for himself some silver and two changes of
garments. He came back home, hid the things cleverly and with pretended innocence
came and stood before Elisha. For this reason he became leprous. Even though he
had been with the man of God for such a long time and had the privilege of learning
many things and seeing the great power of God through Elisha, his heart was still full
of love and greed for money, gold and silver. His lie and greed for money made him
spiritually blind, and he could not see the horses of fire, which the Lord had kept for
Elisha. Many people, including servants of God, become blind spiritually because of
their love for earthly things, like money and fame; and they increase their sins by
telling many lies. Thus their faith becomes weak and they lose spiritual sight.

There are different kinds of physical blindness. Spiritually also there are
different kinds of blindness. First of all, according to 2 Cor.4: 4 the god of this world
blinds the minds of people that they may not believe, and the light of the glorious
Gospel of Christ cannot shine upon them. They cannot understand God's love for
them. They will hear man -made stories and believe them; but they will rebel against
the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. They cannot understand how Christ died and
rose again for their sakes. Only the power of God can remove this blindness. Elisha
prayed for his servant, and God heard him. He forgave the servant and opened his
eyes. So we also must pray for people and God will open their eyes to receive the
Gospel of Christ.

We read about the Lord Jesus Christ healing a blind man in Mark 8:22-26.
The Lord took that man aside, spat on his eyes, put his hands upon him and asked
him if he saw anything. The blind man looked up and said. "I see men as trees,
walking". He did see something, but his vision was not clear. That is partial
blindness. The Lord gave him another touch and then he got clear vision. There are
people who know something about the Lord Jesus that He died on the cross for their
sins. But they have little understanding about truths like the cleansing power of the
precious blood, or God's eternal purpose for their lives. They do not have clear
understanding of God's forgiveness. As a result they live a life of defeat and failure.
Such partially blind people need a second or even a third touch from the Lord. Clear
understanding does not come through human wisdom; it comes only through the
touch of the Lord.

The believers at Corinth remained spiritual! Babes for a long time in spite of
hearing the preaching of Paul, which was "not with enticing words of man's wisdom,
but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power" (1 Cor.2: 4). They had heard the
Gospel, believed on it and had repented of their sins; but they had failed to grow on
to maturity. That is why they had strife and contention in their midst (1 Cor, 3:3).
The reason for this was their partial spiritual blindness. If we have such blindness in
us, we must confess it before the Lord, " and ask Him to touch us and give us clear
vision.

Then we find another kind of spiritual blindness among believers, which
causes difficulty in understanding the Word of God. They are good and sincere
people, but they suffer from such blindness that even though they read the Bible,
they do not understand anything and soon feel very sleepy.

The Bible is the Word of God, not the word of man. That is why every time we
read the Bible we must pray like the Psalmist, "Open thou mine eyes, that I may
behold wondrous things out of thy law" (Psalm 119:18). When I started to read my
Bible for the first time in 1929, I could not understand it, Over and over again I
came across phrases like "And God said", "and God saw", "and God appeared".
(Such phrases appear about 558 times in the first five books of the Bible). I said to
myself, "This is not an ordinary book, it is the Word of God. I must be very humble
and reverent when I read it". So I prayed, "Lord, I believe this is Your Word. I cannot
understand it by myself. You please open my eyes and give me understanding". After
that the Book became very real to me, and I began to enjoy reading it. You also
must confess before Him your spiritual blindness and foolishness, and request Him to
enlighten you. Then take your time and read the Bible from Genesis to Malachi, and
Matthew to Revelation. Read it upon your knees. Read it slowly. Ask the Lord to
speak to you through the portion you have read. Then He will help you to
understand. Otherwise you will remain blind spiritually.

No one can be a better teacher of the Word than the Lord Jesus Christ
Himself. We read in Luke 24: 13-35 how on the day of resurrection, two disciples
were going from Jerusalem to Emmaus. As they were returning home, the Lord
Himself walked with them, and beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He
expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. But neither
could they recognize Him nor could they believe what He said. They remained blind.
This was because they had no faith. You too may hear a great and well-known
preacher, but if you do not have faith, you will not be able to understand his
message, and you will remain blind. According to Heb.4: 2, the Word of God must be
accepted with faith. By faith say in your heart, "Lord, I believe this is Your Word. I
believe you will speak to me". Then you will be able to understand what He wants to
tell you.

As those two disciples and the Lord Jesus sat for food, the Lord took bread,
blessed it, and gave them. In that breaking of bread, their eyes were opened; they
recognized the Lord and He vanished out of their sight (Luke 24:30-31). They I
remembered how recently on the Passover night, the Lord had done the same thing
and had said that His body would be broken for them. Here we find a very deep and
important principle. Sunday-by-Sunday, as we remember the Lord's death in the
Breaking of Bread, we get more clearly heavenly VISION.

The more we worship the Lord and the more we thank Him for dying on our
behalf and shedding His blood for the remission of our sins, the more clearly shall we
see Him. This heavenly vision does not come by hearing messages. The true
understanding came to them only with the breaking of bread. Our loving and mighty
Creator gave Himself for us. He allowed wicked people to beat Him, scourge Him,
spit upon Him and pierce Him. He died for our sake. He took our place. He rose again
for our justification. As we take part in the Lord's Table worthily and gratefully, in
appreciation of such wonderful love and sacrifice, we will be given more clear
understanding of His Word.

These days, we have many means where by vision can be improved. But for
spiritual eyesight, we have to go only to the Lord. In Rev .3: 18 (b), the Lord says,
"anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that thou mayest see". The Lord Himself will give
us this eye salve to take away our blindness, and then He will reveal Himself to us.
May the Lord grant us all His clear heavenly vision.

Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.   Matthew 24: 42