Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | December 8, 2014

Chosen and Blessed to See and Hear – “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

Today’s devotion comes from Deuteronomy 29:1-6.

“1 These are the words of the covenant which the Lord commanded Moses to make with the sons of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the covenant which He had made with them at Horeb.

2 And Moses summoned all Israel and said to them, “You have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh and all his servants and all his land;  3 the great trials which your eyes have seen, those great signs and wonders.  4 Yet to this day the Lord has not given you a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear.  5 I have led you forty years in the wilderness;  your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandal has not worn out on your foot.  6 You have not eaten bread, nor have you drunk wine or strong drink, in order that you might know that I am the Lord your God.  7 When you reached this place, Sihon the king of Heshbon and Og the king of Bashan came out to meet us for battle, but we defeated them;  8 and we took their land and gave it as an inheritance to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of the Manassites.  9 So keep the words of this covenant to do them, that you may prosper in all that you do.”  Deuteronomy 29:1-6.

———————-

The blessings of disobedience and the curses of disobedience were vividly and repeatedly presented to Israel.  Remember how hard it was for us to read the curses of the last chapter!

And, the duty to obey was simply and clearly and repeatedly presented to Israel.  “So keep the words of this covenant to do them, that you may prosper in all that you do.”  Verse 9.

Yet, we know that Israel did not obey.  Israel suffered the curses of disobedience.

Why would Israel not obey???

Today’s Scripture explains why, despite all these blessings, curses, and duty, Israel did not obey.  “Yet to this day the Lord has not given you a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear.”  Verse 4.

We likewise read similar language in the commission that the Lord gave to the prophet Isaiah.

“8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?”  Then I said, “Here am I.  Send me!”  9 He said, “Go, and tell this people:

‘Keep on listening, but do not perceive;
Keep on looking, but do not understand.’
10 “Render the hearts of this people insensitive,
Their ears dull,
And their eyes dim,
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
Hear with their ears,
Understand with their hearts,
And return and be healed.”

11 Then I said, “Lord, how long?” And He answered,

“Until cities are devastated and without inhabitant,
Houses are without people
And the land is utterly desolate,
12 “The Lord has removed men far away,
And the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land.
13 “Yet there will be a tenth portion in it,
And it will again be subject to burning,
Like a terebinth or an oak
Whose stump remains when it is felled.
The holy seed is its stump.”  Isaiah 6:8-13.

We further read similar language in Jesus’ teaching about his parables.

“10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”  11 Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.  12 For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance;  but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.  13 Therefore I speak to them in parables;  because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.  14 In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says,

‘You will keep on hearing, but will not understand;
You will keep on seeing, but will not perceive;
15 For the heart of this people has become dull,
With their ears they scarcely hear,
And they have closed their eyes,
Otherwise they would see with their eyes,
Hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart and return,
And I would heal them.’

16 But blessed are your eyes, because they see;  and your ears, because they hear. ”  Matthew 13:10-16.

Finally, we read similar language in Romans  11:7-8.

“7 What then?  What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened;  8 just as it is written,

“God gave them a spirit of stupor,
Eyes to see not and ears to hear not,
Down to this very day.”  Romans 11:7-8.

In summary, tying all these Scriptures together, we begin to understand that God chooses those whom He will give eyes to see and ears to hear.  God chooses those whom He will grant to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.  God chooses those whom He will save.

Other doctrine may bristle against this Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.  Paul understood it when he stated:  “You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault?  For who resists His will?”  On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God?  The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it?  Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?  What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?  And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.”  Romans 9:19-24.

But, Reformed Doctrine boasts in the LORD.  “For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;  but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.  But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.”  1 Corinthians 1:26-31.

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