Blindness as a judgment from God – part 6 of series on blindness and deception
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.
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
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:
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:
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:
8 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:
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.
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 2: Blindness from original sin
Part 6: is this post
Part 7: Blindness from having a ‘story faith’ rather than true faith