Isaiah 42:18
"Listen, you deaf, and look, you blind, that you may see.
A New Song to JehovahE. Johnson Isaiah 42:10-25
Divine ExpostulationW. Richardson.Isaiah 42:18-20
EyesightB. Whitefoord.Isaiah 42:18-20
The Ear and the Eye as SymbolsB. Whitefoord.Isaiah 42:18-20
The Open EyeB. Whitefoord.Isaiah 42:18-20

I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These words are prophecy and history also; for Christ has fulfilled these words.


1. Darkness over the face of God.

2. Darkness over the destiny of man.

But Christ has revealed the Divine fatherhood, and brought life and immortality to light.

II. WRONG RIGHTENED. Crooked or warped things have been twisted or "wrung" - from which our word "wrong" comes; and Christ Jesus has brought in an everlasting righteousness.

1. Man's way was wrong.

2. Man's ideal was wrong, it was self instead of God.

3. Man's heart was wrong.

And there are "crooked" things in experience, in addition to crooked tastes and tempers. And Christ makes the path of duty clear to us, and removes the mountains from our paths. - W.M.S.

Hear, ye deaf.
Thus the Lord expostulates with His ancient people, and thus He has reason to expostulate with us.

1. We are deaf, in a spiritual sense, when we do not attend to the Divine admonitions, or give earnest heed to the word of instruction; and we are blind, in the same sense, when we do not perceive the glory of the Gospel, and the force and beauty of Divine truth.

2. Before one step in the way of salvation can be taken, this hindrance must be removed. The eyes of the blind must be opened, and the ears of the deaf must be unstop, pad. Hence there is a call to the deaf to hear, and to the blind to look that they may see. This is like the command of our Saviour to the man with the withered hand, to stretch it forth, and implies that this deafness and blindness was their fault, as well as their misfortune. In dependence upon His promise they ought, therefore, to stir themselves up to the discharge of their duty.

3. That the nations who have not the light of the Gospel should want spiritual senses is no wonder; but that those who are, by profession, the "servants" of God, and His "messengers," or those to whom His messengers are sent, and perfectly instructed, should be blind and deaf, is much to be lamented.

4. The sincere followers of Christ whose eyes and ears He has opened to attend to His saving instructions; who love the Gospel, and have been led by it to repentance, faith and newness of life; who do not habitually neglect, but rather prize the ordinances of religion, and the means of grace; even these may be charged with not exercising, as they ought, the spiritual senses which God has given them.

(W. Richardson.)

With a bold freedom do the writers of both the Old and New Testaments fasten the attention upon the sense of hearing. Throughout, the ear is the symbol of obedience. As by its common use the sense is the medium of interpretation of sounds, whether of nature or of the articulate expression of fellow-men, so, by further reference and deeper analogy, it stands as the avenue through which Divine communications may pass to the soul, — it may be in a still small voice. One might suppose, considering the high esteem in which obedience is held in the sacred polity of Israel, considering that obedience is ever regarded in the Old Testament as the test of national and individual loyalty to Jehovah, that the metaphor of the ear would occur more frequently than that of any other sense. Yet it is not so. A glance at any serviceable concordance will show that it is from the eyesight that evangelist and apostle, as well as psalmist and prophet, are furnished with their most telling spiritual illustrations. The reason for this is plain. If the sacred penman made the sense of hearing his object-lesson, it could only be one. It could only help him to emphasise the single conception of the duty and blessing of learning to obey. With the eyesight the manifold character of the teaching answered exactly to the complex faculties of the organ of vision. A concordance, better still an intimate knowledge of Holy Scripture, suggests obedience as the primary lesson of the Old Testament. The metaphor of the "ear" when found in the New Testament is commonly discovered in a setting of some Old Testament passage. Another illustration is wanted, correspondent to the greater fulness of a fresh revelation; and this illustration, common indeed to both covenants, is eyesight.

(B. Whitefoord.)

Look, ye blind
Intelligence and candour, receptiveness and perseverance, faith, hope and charity — such are some amongst the many lessons inculcated through and in the possession of sight.

(B. Whitefoord.)

The spiritual eye is not the victim of accident or senility, although its clearer powers of vision may often be marred by sin and hampered by indolence. The spiritual eye is an open eye, full of meaning and purpose, cleansed by the tears of penitence, lighted up by faith end love, The eye is open; but not of that pitiful kind that is recognised as vacant. It is bright with significance, clear in its aim, strenuous and persevering in its direction. It has certain characteristic ranges of vision, and these, so Scripture and experience alike teach, are threefold.

I. IT LOOKS INWARD. It contemplates the soul. The eye first marks the worst within, an evil so general, so potent, that the main feeling is one of despair. It may now see the best that lies also within. For here, in the human heart, it perceives the work of the Holy Spirit.

II. IT LOOKS OUTWARD. It looks upon the world —

1. Of nature.

2. Of humanity.

III. IT LOOKS UPWARD — Godward. Nor is the upward look of the soul to God merely a passing act of worship (Psalm 25:15), but the very foretaste of His favour and aid. It is only the heart which is pure of earthly aims and hopes that shall at last reach the perfect vision of God.

(B. Whitefoord.)

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