Why Some Do Not Believe
Today’s reading: Isaiah 42:18-45:25
My selection: Isaiah 44:18-20
18 They know not, nor do they discern, for he has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand. 19 No one considers, nor is there knowledge or discernment to say, “Half of it I burned in the fire; I also baked bread on its coals; I roasted meat and have eaten. And shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?” 20 He feeds on ashes; a deluded heart has led him astray, and he cannot deliver himself or say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?”
My reflections: To worshipers of the Triune God of the Bible, it is obviously ludicrous for anyone to take a piece of wood, use part of it for a fire to cook food and get warm and the rest of it to craft an idol to worship. “Why don’t they get this?” we ask. Why can’t they see the total irrationality of this practice and this belief? The reason, Isaiah tells us, is that God has shut their eyes and hearts so that they cannot see nor understand what should be obvious.
My challenge: Does the thought that God blinds the eyes of idolators seem unfair? The Bible teaches that one must be born again (John 3:1-15) in order to see the kingdom of heaven. This is the work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration. The preaching of the gospel is essential for the lost to be saved, but unless God, by His Holy Spirit, opens the blind eyes and closed hearts no amount of pleading and arguing and explaining and preaching will penetrate the dark soul.
But God does open blind eyes and closed hearts. He does regenerate people, by His Spirit, enabling them to believe the gospel and repent of their sin. Every day. In every continent. Men and women, boys and girls are converted. It happened in Thessalonica (I Thessalonians 1:9-10). Pray that it will happen in your family, community, and nation. God is able. He hears prayer. Keep proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ, but do not despair if the response is less than overwhelming. The problem does not lie in the message but in the hearer. God saves idol worshipers. Trust Him. Proclaim Christ. Leave the results with God.
Tomorrow’s reading: Isaiah 46:1-50:11