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How Not to be a Stumblingblock

Feb 05, 2007

Leviticus 19:14 says, "Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind."

An Old Covenant understanding of this tells us that we ought not to put an obstacle in the path of a blind person that might cause them to stumble, nor should we curse those who are deaf and cannot hear.

A New Covenant understanding of this does not negate the Old Covenant application, of course, but it does add a greater dimension to the law according to the mind of God.

In Exodus 4, when Moses stood before the burning bush, he objected to the call of God, saying he was not eloquent but had difficulty speaking. God responded in verse 11, saying,

"Who has made man's mouth? or Who makes the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Have not I the Lord?"

God took credit for making everyone the way they are, for all men have their purpose in the divine plan, whether as a vessel of honor or a vessel of dishonor (Rom. 9:21). A good example of blindness and deafness is Israel. We may find fault with Israel for refusing to hear God's voice and for not having faith to enter the Promised Land; but toward the end of their 40 years in the wilderness, Moses told them in Deut. 29:4,

"Yet the Lord has not given you a heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day."

No one has eyes to see or ears to hear unless the Holy Spirit of God opens them to hear or see His word. When I learned that many years ago, I came to the conclusion that I cannot play God and attempt to open anyone's eyes or ears. I had to pray that God would do it, and if He did not do so, I could only move on and find those whose eyes and ears had already been opened by divine intervention.

Life became easier for me then, because I was no longer trying to do God's calling, which was beyond my capability. When we burden ourselves with God's responsibilities, we soon become frustrated and discouraged. That is when we begin cursing the deaf and putting a stumblingblock before the blind. We throw truth at them as if it were a lethal weapon. We curse the deaf as if deafness were their own fault.

We should instead be praying the prophet's prayer in Isaiah 63:17,

"O Lord, why hast Thou made us to err from Thy ways and hardened our hearts from Thy fear? Return for Thy servants' sake the tribes of Thine inheritance."

It was difficult for the prophet to understand why God had blinded Israel and had hardened their hearts. Yet Isaiah knew it was true, for he had already written in Isaiah 29:10,

"For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes; the prophets and your rulers, the seers, hath He covered."

Again, he wrote in Isaiah 44:18,

"They have not known nor understood; for He hath shut their eyes that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand."

The "blind servant" is one of the primary themes in Isaiah's prophecy. It goes back to Jacob-Israel himself, who was the original blind servant (Gen. 27:1). In his blindness, he blessed Jacob, thinking he was blessing Esau. And now again in the past century, God has blinded Isaac again in order to allow Esau to take advantage of this blindness and steal the birthright back from Jacob.

The descendants of Esau-Edom were conquered and absorbed into Judah in 126 B.C. (See Edom orIdumea in any encyclopedia or history book.) Jewish history then inherited all the prophecies regarding Esau-Edom, for they were the only ones left to fulfill them. In 1948 the blind Church, representing Isaac, blessed Esau, thinking it was blessing Jacob, when it lent its support and blessing to the Israeli state. (See my book, The Struggle for the Birthright.)

God did this according to the law of an "eye for eye" (Ex. 21:24). Without blindness, the divine purpose would have been exposed and would then have failed. So all we can do is pray that the appointed time arrives quickly when God will open the eyes of His people (and ALL people). Only then can anyone possibly repent and turn to God.

God always takes full responsibility for all that He does. When He blinds the eyes of men, He makes Himself legally liable for it and responsible to rectify the situation. Exodus 21:26 says that if a man destroys the eye of his servant, that servant must be set free for the sake of his eye. Thus, when God blinds any man, He obligates Himself to set that man free. Some He heals early, and others He will heal at the Creation Jubilee.

Samson understood this law, for he represents the Church under Pentecost. (See my book, The Wheat and Asses of Pentecost.) Samson had great strength, as does Pentecost, but he also failed to deliver Israel from the Philistine captivity. Instead, he was taken captive, and was blinded (Judg. 16:21). Later, he prayed for strength for the sake of his two eyes (vs. 28), and God granted it. Why? Because Samson understood the law of the blind servants and appealed to God by the law in Ex. 21:26.

The Church under Pentecost needs to do this as well. Hence, I strive to show them their lawful rights by teaching the law. I cannot open Samson's eyes today, but God can--and He will do so at the right time.

We have seen signs recently that God is soon to open the eyes of the Church and the rest of the world. I pray that it would be this year. I feel certain that it is the basis of the coming move of the Holy Spirit, for without His healing the blind on a large scale, there will be no world-wide spiritual awakening. Men have been awakened to a degree in many times and places, but few yet can see the truth clearly. In fact, this healing has come in stages, much like the blind man Jesus healed in John 9.

Meanwhile, the word of God must be set forth as a banquet without turning it into a food fight. The truth must be given as a beautifully wrapped gift, rather than thrown at them in a threatening manner. Truth should be spoken with kindness to the deaf, rather than placed at their feet where they might stumble over it.

Years ago God told my friend, Ron, that He would teach him "sign language," so that he could teach the blind and the deaf Church using the signs of the times. But I believe we are now coming into a new era of understanding. More and more blind and deaf people are beginning to see and hear--clear evidence that God is answering their prayers for healing.

The man born blind in John 9 was the sixth sign in John. By personal revelation we believe it began to be specifically applicable in September 2005. Shortly afterward, I began writing this web log, and I have watched the readership grow by leaps and bounds. This tells me that the time is coming and now is when God is opening eyes and ears to new truth, for people are looking beyond the boundaries of their denomination to find answers.

The man born blind is a sign of this. For those interested in Church history, his historical name was Restitutus. He was excommunicated from the temple and later had to flee to Gaul (France), where he became a missionary and bishop of Augusta Tricastinorum. He is buried at the church in the nearby village that bears his name today, St. Restitut. Rest in peace, for though you are dead, you yet speak to us of the Restitution of All Things.

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Blog Author: Dr. Stephen Jones