We pondered the causes of the reactions of human beings to the word of God today – as we read the final chapter of Acts with Paul’s quotations from Isaiah. Paul quoted these in reaction to the rather negative attitudes of the Jews who came to see him. We have also started reading Isaiah itself, the most remarkable of the prophets – and how particularly thought-challenging is today’s 2nd chapter!
We tend to highlight the first few verses and their reference to what “shall come to pass in the latter days” [v.2] and put little emphasis on the later verses which tell us “the LORD of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty … against every high tower … And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled, and the lofty pride of men shall be brought low, and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.” [v.12,15,17] What high buildings and towers have been built in recent years!
Ponder the word “haughtiness”! This attitude develops in those who think they know all the answers! Our “educated” world abounds with that attitude today – man is “god” – so many think there never was a Creator!
This thought brings us back to the passage Paul quoted – that was being fulfilled in his experience – and it is now being fulfilled in ours!
“Go to this people, and say, “You will indeed hear but never understand … see but never perceive. For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed …” [Acts 28 v.26,27]
Most of the Jews who came to see Paul had hearts, ears and eyes that were not at all receptive to what he told them. Today, people have eyes that have boundless opportunities to read, but they are so ‘full’ of themselves and all the cleverness in the world that surrounds them – that their minds have “grown dull” and ” their ears … can barely hear.”
If people have any awareness of God’s word at all, it is such that they “barely hear” it, because they “barely” read it. May that not apply to you and I. But I know some whose ” heart has grown dull” and are failing to do as Jesus instructed his followers; “Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning” [Luke 12 v.35]
Let us make sure we are not among them, but we have “ears (that) can … hear” and eyes that can see – and hearts that know – and we are in awe of what “shall come to pass in the latter days” believing Paul when he told believers to “walk by faith, not by sight.” [2 Cor. 5 v.7].
By Bro D.Caudery
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