Sunday, December 20, 2009

Deaf and Blind - All For The Better

"Hear, you deaf; look, you blind, and see! Who is blind but my servant, and deaf like the messenger I send? Who is blind like the one committed to me, blind like the servant of the LORD? You have seen many things, but have paid no attention; your ears are open, but you hear nothing." It pleased the LORD for the sake of his righteousness to make his law great and glorious. But this is a people plundered and looted, all of them trapped in pits or hidden away in prisons. They have become plunder, with no one to rescue them; they have been made loot, with no one to say, "Send them back." Which of you will listen to this or pay close attention in time to come? Who handed Jacob over to become loot, and Israel to the plunderers? Was it not the LORD, against whom we have sinned? For they would not follow his ways; they did not obey his law. So he poured out on them his burning anger, the violence of war. It enveloped them in flames, yet they did not understand; it consumed them, but they did not take it to heart. (Isaiah 42:18-25, NIV)

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God’s prophet Isaiah is carrying a pretty desolate message to Israel. They are condemned as a people without sight and hearing … but they would be better off deaf and blind and committed to the Lord then hearing and seeing with nothing to show for it. God goes so far as to say they have been looted and plundered by others and He will pour out his anger on them. And even then, they won’t listen to Him or seek His face. It’s an odd passage, I know, but I think there is a bigger point to be made here.

I happen to be writing this during the last week of Advent. The fourth candle to be lit (traditionally for the theme of love) still hasn’t burned, but so many are burning their own candles at both ends. We hurry and scrape and claw … and for what? We try to accumulate more “stuff” that we don’t need, and all too often ignore what is going on right in front of our faces. I’m afraid that my sight and hearing aren’t that much clearer than the sight and hearing of Isaiah’s audience. I’m just as guilty of paying too much attention to the wrong things and not enough to the One Reason we will light that final Advent candle. If I’m not careful, I could suffer the same fate as Israel.

I am privileged to know a young song writer by the name of Jess Ray. God has given her some incredible insight and a great passion to make Him known to everyone she meets. She wrote a song that I believe fits this theme well, and is the very reason I chose the title and passage I did for this entry. The song is simply titled That I Might Love You and it speaks of all the disoriented distraction this world offers against a soul’s desire to go intentionally deaf and blind so God’s love can become real. Here are the lyrics:

It calls to me and I so easily listen
To a world that’s quickly, and surely falling to pieces
There’s no foundation, no rock to keep me steady
Just lies and poor melodies, Rising up from here.

So make me deaf that I might hear you
Make me deaf that I might hear you, that I might hear you

They dance for me and I choose to believe
In the images of fiction and the crooked men,
Selling their lies to me, telling me I’m free
But there’s no foundation, No rock to keep me steady
Just false advertising, stealing my eyes away from you.

So make me blind that I might see you
Make me blind that I might see you, that I might see you
So make me deaf that I might hear you
Make me blind that I might see you, that I might love you

It is a plea I want to say with all my heart and mean it. If I do so sincerely, my travels on the Crooked Path will be focused more on God and less on me. He will increase; I will decrease. And that truly is the reason we light the candles on the Advent wreath … so we can reflect on Christ and the Way He alone provides.

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  1. What are you hearing these days? Is it drowning out the message God has for you, the one that will truly enrich your life?
  2. What are you seeing these days? Do you find yourself blinded to God because of all the glitz and glitter the world is trying to sell?
  3. Are you willing to risk going deaf and blind to everything and everyone but God so you can focus on Him and find He is the only Love you will ever need?

NIV - Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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