A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Blindness as a judgment from God – part 6 of series on blindness and deception

When people make themselves blind through their own choice to suppress the truth in unrighteousness, God makes them even more blind.

2 Thessalonians 2:10b-12
They perish because they would not receive the love of the truth, so that they might have been saved. And therefore God will send them strong delusion, so that they will believe lies; so that all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

The angels blinded the men of Sodom so they could not see the door of Lot’s house.

Genesis 19:1-11

Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground. And he said, “Here now, my lords, please turn in to your servant’s house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.”

And they said, “No, but we will spend the night in the open square.”

But he insisted strongly; so they turned in to him and entered his house. Then he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.

So Lot went out to them through the doorway, shut the door behind him, and said, “Please, my brethren, do not do so wickedly! See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man; please, let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish; only do nothing to these men, since this is the reason they have come under the shadow of my roof.”

And they said, “Stand back!” Then they said, “This one came in [to this city] to stay here, and he keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them.” So they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door. But the men [the two angels] reached out their hands and pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. And they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they became weary trying to find the door.

Lot is not the hero in this story! He was willing to cast his daughters out to be raped by the mob. I only share the story because it is a good example of how God can blind evildoers. In this story, God uses His angels to blind the men of Sodom.

Now pay attention. The men of Sodom wanted to have sex with the two men who were staying in Lot’s house. Those two ‘men’ were in fact angels. That’s how evil human beings can become: they can carnally lust after angels. Think about that. Don’t dismiss it. It is something that may still be happening today.

More passages that speak about God making people blind

Matthew 13:12
For whosoever has, to him will be given, and he will have abundance. But whosoever has not, from him shall be taken away even what he has.

The note in the New Matthew Bible on this ^ passage says:
“To him that has a good heart towards God’s word, to fulfil it, more grace will be given. And from him who does not have such a heart will be taken away even what knowledge he has, and his heart so hardened that he will not repent. [William Tyndale> Here is a covenant to those who love the word of God, to further it so that they progress in it, and another to those who do not love it, that they will lose it and grow blind.]”

Conceited arrogant people who think they have it all worked out are made blind by God:

John 3:39-41
Jesus said, I have come for judgment into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and those who see, may be made blind.
And some of the Pharisees who were with him heard these words and said to him, Are we then blind? Jesus said to them, If you were blind, you would have no sin. But now you say, We see. Therefore your sin remains.

God judges and blinds conceited religious leaders who think they can see. That leads us to Romans 11 which talks about God blinding Israel:

Romans 11:7-10, 25-26a
What then? Israel has not obtained what it sought. No, but yet the chosen ones have obtained it. The rest are blinded, as it is written: God has given them the spirit of unquietness: eyes so that they cannot see, and ears so that they cannot hear, until this day. And David says, Let their table be made a snare to take them with, and an occasion to fall, and a reward to them. Let their eyes be blinded so that they do not see, and ever bow down their backs. …
I would not that this mystery be hid from you my brethren (lest you be wise in your own estimations), that with respect to a part, blindness is upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in; and in this way all Israel will be saved.
[click here to read the whole chapter]

Note from Barb: all Israel will be saved  – “all Israel” denotes all who by faith believe in God’s promises, no matter what their genetic lineage. Rom 2:28-29 and Rom 9 make it clear that not all who genetically descend from Abraham are Israelites.

Paul’s physical blindness immediately after his conversion signified and drove home to him how spiritually blind he had been, and therefore how much he needed to depend on God in order to see the truth:

Acts 13:11
And now behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and not see the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness, and he went about seeking someone to lead him by the hand.

The next scripture talks about how people make themselves blind, and how spiritual blindness is also a judgement from God:

Isaiah 29
It shall even be as when a hungry man dreams,
And look—he eats;
But he awakes, and his soul is still empty;
Or as when a thirsty man dreams,
And look—he drinks;
But he awakes, and indeed he is faint,
And his soul still craves:
So the multitude of all the nations shall be,
Who fight against Mount Zion.
9 Pause and wonder!
Blind yourselves and be blind!
They are drunk, but not with wine;
They stagger, but not with intoxicating drink.
10 For the Lord has poured out on you
The spirit of deep sleep,
And has closed your eyes, namely, the prophets;
And He has covered your heads, namely, the seers.

John reiterates what Isaiah had said:

John 12:39-40
Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah says again: He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so that they will not see with their eyes and understand with their hearts and be reformed, and I would heal them.

To round this off, let’s go back to one of the the questions we are examining in this series— Are abusers spiritually blind? (Or psychologically blind, which is pretty much the same thing.)

‘Believer’, a commenter at this blog, summed it up when she said:

Abusers know when they are doing evil. They don’t care; they even like to do it.

The Bible does talk about people becoming blind as a judgment from God but I am thinking that it’s not that they’re blind to basic wrong and right (which is common sense, rules even the youngest children know). My thought is that due to their love and practice of sin they become blind to the reality of the impending judgment of God, and the gospel.

I think their common sense also does become perverted; but I don’t think they no longer know God’s decree of what is right and wrong. I think they are fully aware of the actual, right, true rules of justice and kindness. They just hate and oppose those rules. And I think they know very well they are standing in opposition to what God says. They just ardently, perversely hold to their self-sovereign “right” to define reality because they love their sin.

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Bible versions used in this series

New Testament: NMB (New Matthew Bible); notes from the NMB are in grey italicised text.
Psalms: Myles Coverdale’s translation as per the 1662 Book of Common Prayer
Old Testament other than Psalms: NKJ (New King James).

Other parts in this series

Part 1: Are abusers blind? Are abusers deceived? What does the Bible say?

Part 2: Blindness from original sin

Part 3: Blindness exacerbated by individual choice

Part 4: Blindness exacerbated by group choice and group-leader choice

Part 5: Blindness as a result of being deceived by others

Part 6: is this post

Part 7: Blindness from having a ‘story faith’ rather than true faith

New website for my book Not Under Bondage

The new site for my book is notunderbondage.com

It gives several purchase options for the book—you can pay in USD, GBP or AUD.

The website also has reviews of the book by theologians, pastors, counselors, survivors of abuse and their supporters.  Most of the reviews are not on Amazon: they were published in theological journals and Christian magazines.

The website replaces one I had before for my book. This site is much easier to navigate. The old site was too cumbersome to maintain.

Check out the new website HERE.

As always, if you are an impoverished survivor of domestic abuse who can’t afford to buy my book, you can ask for a gift copy.

Did Abraham order Sarah to be dishonest? (Is it always sinful to tell an untruth? – Part 4)

Abraham did not ask Sarah to tell an outright lie. He only asked her not to tell the whole truth… the whole truth being that she was his wife as well as his sister / half-sister.

Genesis 20
11 Abraham replied [to Abimelech], “I thought, ‘There is absolutely no fear of God in this place. They will kill me because of my wife.’ 12 Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife. 13 So when God had me wander from my father’s house, I said to her: Show your loyalty to me wherever we go and say about me: ‘He’s my brother.’”
–  HCSB,  to study it in context click here.

How do we know for sure that Sarah was Abraham’s half-sister?

Terah’s family tree. Source of diagram: Wikidepdia article on Terah

Terah's family tree

 

The Bible does not tell us the name of Terah’s wife or wives. Apart from Abraham’s statement to Abimelech in Genesis 20:12, there is no other verse which corroborates that Terah had more than one wife and that Sarah was Abraham’s half-sister since they shared the same father but not the same mother.

Abraham had asked Sarah to tell the Philistines (the people of Gerar) that she was his sister. If that was an out and out falsehood, if Sarah was not Abraham’s biological kin, if she was not his half-sister or his sister, then Abraham would have been asking Sarah to tell an outright lie.

It would seem that Abraham had not asked Sarah to tell an out and out lie. He had only asked her not to tell the whole truth… the whole truth being that she was his wife as well as his sister / half-sister.

The fact that Sarah complied with Abraham’s request suggests to me that she was indeed Abraham’s half-sister.

Maybe this relates in some way to what Paul was alluding to when he says Sarah obeyed Abraham.

(1 Peter 3:6 NMB) even as Sara obeyed Abraham, and called him Lord – whose daughters you are as long as you do well, not being afraid of every shadow.

Read that ^ verse in context — 1 Peter 3 NMB.

My post about 1 Peter 3:6 —
1 Peter 3:6 — Sarah’s children do what is right and do not give way to fear

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Other parts in this series

Part 1:  Is it always sinful to tell an untruth?

Part 2: When is it okay to not tell the truth?

Part 3: Contriving a test to probe whether a hardened heart has repented

Further reading

Should wives submit to harsh husbands just like slaves submitting to harsh masters? (1 Peter 2 & 3)

1 Peter 3 Does Not Command Victims to Remain in Abuse — Help from David deSilva

Is it a sin to feel afraid?

Honouring Resistance — a wonderful resource for understanding abuse

The women weep because their husbands despise them – Update on Malachi 2

Ruth M Davis has updated her article Altars Covered in Tears – Malachi. So I have updated my blog post about it.

Ruth’s now says:

The women weep because their husbands despise them. Malachi holds up Abraham as an example of a man with an excellent spirit toward his wife, and exhorts the men to guard their own spirits. However, if a man hates his wife, he may put her away, to spare further injury and grief – but he must “give her a clothing for the scorn.”

‘Clothing’ means a covering. The men must take steps to ‘clothe’ ‘cover’ the hurt and dishonour their wives have suffered.

Read Ruth’s article in full:  Altars Covered in Tears – Malachi.

Read my updated blog post:  Whose tears are covering the altar in Malachi 2? The Matthew Bible vs. the Geneva Bible, Puritans and Calvin

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Related article by Ruth

Sarah’s Covering: The Matthew Bible vs. the Geneva Bible

Related posts at this blog

The Matthew Bible is the first complete English Bible, and Ruth M Davis is gently it updating for modern readers

“If thou hatest her, put her away, and give her a clothing for the scorn” – Malachi 2:16 in the Matthew Bible

Protecting women from abuse. Has Exodus 21:10 been mistranslated in most English versions of the Bible?

The notes in the October Testament are spiritually uplifting and illuminating

 

 

 

Sarah’s Covering in Genesis 20:16 — the Geneva Bible translated it absurdly and dishonestly

Absurd and dishonest translation of Scripture — it often dishonours women and puts them in a double bind.

Ruth Magnusson Davis shows how Genesis 20:16 was badly translated in the Geneva Bible.

The bad translation in the Geneva Bible (1560) was adopted into the KJV and carried over into the NKJ.

Sarah’s Covering: The Matthew Bible vs. the Geneva Bible  by Ruth Magnusson Davis

Excerpt from Ruth’s article:

The Geneva treatment of this passage is wrong for many reasons, including:

(1) It is absurd and dishonest to blame and reprove Sarah for doing as her husband told her to do, and especially in a society where women were without power or authority.

(2) It is also absurd and dishonest to hold up Abraham, who told his wife to lie and got her into the situation, as her defence. It was God who was her defence.

(3) The Geneva Bible creates a classic double bind. On the one hand, in many notes and commentaries it says women must be obedient to their husbands, but here it reproves a woman for being obedient. The woman cannot win.

(4) The Geneva Bible dishonours Sarah, where the intent of the passage was to restore her honour.

Again and again the Geneva Bible proves itself contrary to women (not to mention also contrary to the Matthew Bible). It refuses to protect and honour women.

Read the full article HERE.

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Related posts at this blog

The Matthew Bible is the first complete English Bible, and Ruth M Davis is gently it updating for modern readers

“If thou hatest her, put her away, and give her a clothing for the scorn” – Malachi 2:16 in the Matthew Bible

Whose tears are covering the altar in Malachi 2? The Matthew Bible vs. the Geneva Bible, Puritans and Calvin

Protecting women from abuse. Has Exodus 21:10 been mistranslated in most English versions of the Bible?

The notes in the October Testament are spiritually uplifting and illuminating

Blindness as a result of being deceived by others – part 5 of series on blindness and deception

The Bible says that we can be blinded by Satan and by other human beings.

Some of the humans who blind us are consciously working for Satan.

Some of the humans who blind us are unconsciously working for Satan. Perhaps they have to some degree been blinded by other humans who are consciously working for Satan, as I explained in Part 4. Nevertheless, that does not erase all their individual responsibility for the wrongs that they do. They are responsible for their own individual choices, as I showed in Part 3.

If you have been blinded and deceived by Satan or by human beings, there are many Bible passages that can help you.

The god of this world (Satan) blinds people

2 Corinthians 4:3-4
If our gospel be yet hid, it is hid among those who are lost, in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Human beings can deceive other human beings

2 Timothy 3:13
But the evil men and deceivers will grow worse and worse, while they deceive and are deceived themselves.

Holy hypocrites

William Tyndale’s prologue to the Book of Romans 
This is Paul’s order: that good works grow out of the Spirit, the Spirit comes by faith, and faith comes by hearing the word of God, when the glad tiding and promises that God has made to us in Christ are preached truly, and received in the ground of the heart.

Of this – God’s spirit and his fruit – our holy hypocrites have not once known, nor yet tasted how sweet they are, though they invent many good works out of their own imagination, in order to be justified thereby. In their works there is not one crumb of true faith or spiritual love, or of inward joy, peace, or quietness of conscience, seeing they do not have the word of God for them, that such works please God. But they are even the rotten fruits of a rotten tree.

Here are two passages from the Bible where Jesus is speaking to the Jewish religious leaders. What Jesus said can by extension be applied to the wolves in sheep’s clothing who lead churches today.

Romans 2:19
And you believe that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness

Matthew 23:26
You blind Pharisee: cleanse first the inside of the cup and platter, so that the outside of them may be clean also.

In Matthew 15 the disciples were worried that Jesus was offending the Pharisees. The advice Jesus gives to his disciples (emphasised in bold by me) still applies today:

Matthew 15:7-14 — Jesus is confronting the Pharisees

Hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, This people draws near to me with their mouths, and honours me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And in vain they worship me, teaching doctrines which are nothing but men’s precepts. 

And he called the people to him and said to them, Hear and understand: that which goes into the mouth does not defile a man, but that which comes out of the mouth defiles a man.

Then his disciples came and said to him, Do you perceive how the Pharisees are offended in hearing this saying? He answered and said, All plants that my heavenly Father has not planted shall be plucked up by the roots. Let them alone. They are the blind leaders of the blind. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into the ditch.

 

Notice the beam (plank) in the eye of the Pharisee who thinks he can teach others.

If you have been deceived by other human beings

The Psalms have many passages that are helpful for those who have been deceived by other people.

Psalm 35:4-8
Let them be confounded and put to shame, that seek after my soul : let them be turned back and brought to confusion, that imagine mischief for me.
Let them be as the dust before the wind : and the angel of the Lord scattering them.
Let their way be dark and slippery : and let the angel of the Lord persecute them.
For they have privily laid their net to destroy me without a cause : yea, even without a cause have they made a pit for my soul.
Let a sudden destruction come upon him unawares, and his net, that he hath laid privily, catch himself : that he may fall into his own mischief.

The hymn Be Thou My Helper in the Strife is based on Psalm 35. Click here for lyrics of the hymn and click here to hear the hymn sung by a congregation of believers. If you open those two links you can sing/pray the hymn. I am pretty confident that if you do so, you will be encouraged and comforted.

You can use Psalm 139 to help you pray. Psalm 139 is one of many imprecatory psalms. “Imprecate” means to pray, to invoke evil upon, to curse. The imprecatory psalms ask God to pour out His vengeance and wrath on the evildoers. The imprecations are against the wicked, not against the one who has been abused by the wicked.

If you know Jesus as your Lord and Saviour and you feel anguish about the evil works of the evildoers, you can ask God to slay the wicked.

Psalm 139:19-24
Wilt thou not slay the wicked, O God : depart from me, ye blood-thirsty men.
For they speak unrighteously against thee : and thine enemies take thy Name in vain.
Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee : and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
Yea, I hate them right sore : even as though they were mine enemies.
Try me, O God, and seek the ground of my heart : prove me, and examine my thoughts.
Look well if there be any way of wickedness in me : and lead me in the way everlasting.

Here is another imprecatory psalm:

Psalm 7:9-18, [v 11  in bold]
O let the wickedness of the ungodly come to an end : but guide thou the just.
For the righteous God : trieth the very hearts and reins.
My help cometh of God : who preserveth them that are true of heart.
God is a righteous Judge, strong and patient : and God is provoked every day.
If a man will not turn, he will whet his sword : he hath bent his bow, and made it ready.
He hath prepared for him the instruments of death : he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors
Behold, he travaileth with mischief : he hath conceived sorrow, and brought forth ungodliness.
He hath graven and digged up a pit : and is fallen on himself into the destruction that he made for other.
For his travail shall come upon his own head : and his wickedness shall fall on his own pate.
I will give thanks unto the Lord, according to his righteousness : and I will praise the Name of the Lord most High.
(Myles Coverdale’s translation, 1662 Anglican Book of Common Prayer)

I highlighted verse 11 of Psalm 7 because I think you will find it helpful to see a few translations of that verse.

Psalm 7:11, various translations —

God is a righteous Judge, strong and patient
and God is provoked every day.
(1662 Anglican Book of Common Prayer)

God is a righteous judge
and a God who shows His wrath every day.
(HCSB)

God judgeth the righteous,
and God is angry with the wicked every day.
(KJV)

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Bible versions used in this series

New Testament: NMB (New Matthew Bible)
Psalms: Myles Coverdale’s translation as per the 1662 Book of Common Prayer
Old Testament other than Psalms: NKJ (New King James).

Other parts in this series

Part 1: Are abusers blind? Are abusers deceived? What does the Bible say?

Part 2: Blindness from original sin