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If The Saints Are Blinded, Then Who Will Lead The Way?
"The errors and mistakes of judgment are commonly owing to the corrupt affections." - Matthew Henry
There is no question about it! Indulging in Sin clouds the mind and the understanding. It has a definite effect on a people's spiritual vision, judgment, or perception of things.
This is seen in Isaiah 28:7 where the Prophet Isaiah depicts a people - "the priest and the prophet" - the spiritual leaders who "erred through wine"...were "out of the way" and "swallowed up of wine"...and who "err in vision" and "stumble in judgment."
"Wine" - many times throughout the Scriptures - symbolizes sensual pleasures, the delights of sense, or the best entertainment that the world has to offer. Hence, the Prophet Isaiah was informing us that these leaders - who should have been filled with Great Insight and Discernment through the Spirit of God -"erred through wine." In other words, through an indulgence in fleshly and worldly delights, their understanding became clouded...they committed many errors in judgment...and their consciences became debauched as a result.
Because they were "swallowed up of wine" - totally absorbed by their fleshly and worldly pursuits - their reason and virtue was almost completely gone. They "erred in vision" and "stumbled in judgment." They did not have a correct, clear, or distinct view of the Truth but erred in judgment - while forgetting the law and leading the people astray.
What are we saying here?
We are saying that any people who choose to follow after the world and the flesh immediately encounter a darkening of their understanding of spiritual matters...a depraving of their judgment or perception of spiritual things...a perversion of their will...and a debasing of their passions.
The Prophet Hosea said it this way - "Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart"(Hosea 4:11). They totally deprive a man of reason and understanding. They leave him stupid and irrational in his thinking.
These worldly and earthly pleasures "take away the heart." In this particular verse, "heart" means the understanding and the affections. Hence, the Prophet is informing us that pleasures of this nature steal the affections of the heart from God and destroy the perception of Him and His ways as a result.
A people who give place to worldly and fleshly pursuits and pleasures become intoxicated and senseless. They "err" or make mistakes in judgment. They don't see things clearly or discern any real danger surrounding them at the moment.
In Ephesians 4:18, the Apostle Paul described it as - "Having the understanding darkened..." Through a continual yielding to the flesh and habitual sin, their heart or understanding grows darker and darker. Their moral sense becomes perverted. They begin to "call evil good, and good evil...put darkness for light, and light for darkness...bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"(Isaiah 5:20). Unless checked by the chastening hand of God, they eventually "justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!"(Isaiah 5:23). Instead of being on the Lord's side, they find themselves fighting Him and His people.
Total Perversion! And all because of an indulgence of the flesh and worldly pursuits!
Who or what is the culprit behind this deviation from Truth in the believer's life?
Hosea called it "the spirit of whoredoms"(Hosea 4:12). The Apostle Paul identified him as "the god of this world"(2 Corinthians 4:4) - none other than Satan himself.
What a sad commentary to see believers who once walked with Jesus now experiencing a "blindness" over their minds. Because they choose to indulge in fleshly and worldly pursuits, their understanding of spiritual matters has become perverted and their attention distracted from the things of God. The Prophet Isaiah tells us that their spiritual eyes have been covered or besmeared(Isaiah 44:18) - rendering them dull in the spirit and ignorant of God's ways.
One aspect of the message of Christianity centers on the fact that God came to "open" the eyes of the spiritually blind - to give sight to the blind(Acts 26:18).
But, what is this that we are seeing nowadays in our midst? Are a people who once had their eyes opened now going back to a past state of blindness and darkness of vision and heart?
What is this that we see in our churches today?
A lack of -
...the restraining of fleshly appetites...a hunger for holiness and godliness...and the total appreciation for and understanding of the Truth?
Oh! That our eyes would be opened once again! Oh! That we, as the Body of Christ, would be filled with spiritual discernment that we may see and perceive things, matters, incidents, and people as God sees them.
How necessary it is for all of us to cry out to God as the Apostle Paul instructed us in Ephesians 1:18 - "The eyes of your understanding being enlightened..."
For those who have sinned and yielded to the flesh, it is imperative that you repent or turn from all fleshly indulgences and cry out to God to wash your eyes with the "eyesalve" of His Word and the Blood of Jesus so that you may once again perceive things as they really are. In this darkened world under the dominion of Satan, you need your spiritual sight to avoid all his snares, pitfalls, and traps.
For those who have been striving after holiness and a closer walk with the Lord, it's time like never before to cry out to God for spiritual discernment - "The eyes of your understanding being enlightened..."
The "understanding" is the faculty of the soul whereby we receive knowledge and information. How necessary it is that it is enlightened by the Holy Spirit - the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation - so that we may have a just view of God and the things of God and discern anything and everything contrary to Him in nature.
What is the reason for the Spiritual Blindness - found even among our leaders today?
The answer - An indulgence of the flesh - a widening of the gate and a broadening of the way. Compromise and Worldliness have caused a spiritual dullness, ignorance, and desensitization among many.
The only recourse is a return to the Cross for a washing of the heart through repentance and cleansing in the Blood of Jesus. Only then will the light shine once again in the hearts of those who have yielded to the flesh and become darkened in mind and heart.
In closing, let us quote from Barnes' Notes - "Learn hence, that if a man wishes to be blessed with a clear understanding, he should be a 'good man.' He who wishes a mind well balanced and clear, should fear and love God..."
Proverbs 9:10 tells us - "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding." It is the Fear of the Lord that will keep us from "erring through wine" or being "swallowed up of wine" - being overtaken by fleshly indulgences. It is the Fear of the Lord that will keep us from "erring in vision" and "stumbling in judgment" and will empower us against "the spirit of whoredoms" and "the god of this world."
It's an awful Dread of displeasing this Holy God that will keep our vision clear and our perception of Truth correct.
Oh! That we would all walk blameless before God and men! Oh! That we would be Holy!
Then and only then will we be able to see as God sees and lead others out of their darkness!
May God Bless His Word.