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The Reason for Deafness

As I scrolled through Facebook, I was reminded of how many professing Christians are still full immersed in the presuppositions and practices of the secular world. I have had discussions with many about the evils of the social justice movement, of the evils and hypocrisy of Black Lives Matter, of the evils of Marxism, of the evils of Critical Race Theory, of how these all contradict the clear teaching of Scripture, and of how their involvement with the social justice movement is evil and destructive.

Yet I see them almost every day repeating the same Marxist, Critical Race Theory, Social Justice inspired slogans, formulaic expressions, and falsehoods, while claiming to be Christians. I also see them almost every day refusing to call their beliefs about "white supremacy" and "systemic racism" and "white privilege" into question, despite having been given numerous reasons and opportunities to do so.

I love my family in Christ, so this has been deeply saddening and, honestly, exhausting. What is vexing about the whole situation is not just that these individuals disagree with me, it's also that they don't have the will to think through the ideas that they are open-air preaching at nearly every turn. They refuse to be reasoned with, and so betray Christ - God's Logic/Logos - in yet another act of bold defiance.

It's trying, of course, but more than that it is sad to see that these individuals are giving evidence that perhaps they never were born of the Spirit, or that they were being severely disciplined by God for their sin of elevating their feelings and a secular and anti-Christ philosophy over and against the Revelation of God.

As I observe their hardness of hearing, I am reminded of those in Scripture whom the Lord wanted to destroy and, so, were given over to spiritual deafness. For instance, the sons-in-law of that righteous man, Lot. In Genesis 19:12-14, we read -

...the [angels] said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone you have in the city, bring them out of the place. For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.” So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, “Up! Get out of this place, for the Lord is about to destroy the city.” But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.

These men did not hear Lot's warnings. They treated the warnings as a joke, and suffered the consequences of so doing.

Similarly, Eli's sons refused to hear his warning in 1 Samuel and suffered the consequences. 1 Sam 2:22-25 explains why these men didn't listen to their father - It was God's will to kill them. As it is written -

Now Eli was very old, and he kept hearing all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who were serving at the entrance to the tent of meeting. And he said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all these people. No, my sons; it is no good report that I hear the people of the Lord spreading abroad. If someone sins against a man, God will mediate for him, but if someone sins against the Lord, who can intercede for him?” But they would not listen to the voice of their father, for it was the will of the Lord to put them to death.

The reason for deafness in men is given by God in his Word: He intends to judge them severely for their sins.

The same thing happens later in 1 Sam 8:8-9, where the people of Israel demand that God give them a king, and refuse to listen to the Word of God spoken by Samuel. The text reads -

...the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.”

The people did not reject Samuel; they rejected God himself. And this despite being given warnings of what would - and did later - take place. Scripture tells us that after listening to the divinely revealed consequences they would face for rejecting Yahweh as their king, the people of Israel continued to reject him. 1 Sam 8:19-22 tells us -

But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, “No! But there shall be a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” And when Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the ears of the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey their voice and make them a king.” Samuel then said to the men of Israel, “Go every man to his city.”

Only God Can Heal the Deaf

These examples are not, at least in the immediate sense, encouraging. They reveal that deafness among professing Christians and non-Christians is a very bad sign, a sign that one is under the judgment or sever discipline of God. This should cause us grief when we consider those who profess Christ and are yet unable to hear the clear warnings of history and friends and, most of all, God himself.

Yet what is encouraging is that God can, and does, heal the deaf, give sight to the blind, and raise the dead. While men may be deaf to our cries, pleadings, and rebukes - God can open their ears to hear and believe the truth, and bear fruit in keeping with repentance.

Because we are not God, we don't have  grounds for asserting that those who are now deaf will not one day receive the free gift of spiritual hearing and life. Rather, we have grounds for praying more earnestly for those who are deaf. Perhaps God will mercifully and miraculously open their ears and hearts.