Today's Reading: Isaiah 29:17-24
Daily Lectionary: 1 Samuel 26:1–25; 1 Corinthians 5:1–13
In that day, the deaf shall hear the words of a book, and out of their gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind shall see (Isaiah 29:18).
The deaf shall hear! The blind shall see! There is an obvious connection between the Gospel reading for this week and the Old Testament lesson from Isaiah 29. Both point to the work of God in the lives of sinful people through the preaching of His Word.
Isaiah offers to us a picture of those who currently live in “gloom and darkness.” Think of this gloom and darkness as the human condition since the time Adam and Eve fell into sin. It is our sinful nature inherited from our first parents. Man is rebellious against God. He is an enemy of God, so much so that, as St. Paul reminds us, natural man is unable to “accept the things that come from the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 2:14). The prophet Isaiah reveals this same problem in the two men who are given the “words” but cannot read them, for they are “sealed” (Is. 29:11,12). So much for anyone being able to choose God! How can one who is blind see, or understand, God? How can one who is deaf hear God?
Yet, by grace, God does not leave people deaf and blind. Unsealing the “word,” Isaiah reveals to us that God reaches into this gloom and darkness of unbelief that the spiritually deaf may hear, and those who are spiritually blind may see. What a dramatic change these “words” bring into the lives of people!
Such is the effect of the Gospel in the lives of people. Later in Isaiah, we hear the Word of the Lord concerning His Word, “it shall not return to me empty, but it shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11). The purpose for which God sent His Word is your very salvation.
The Gospel shows the Father’s grace, who sent His Son to save our race, proclaims how Jesus lived and died that we might thus be justified. (LSB 580 v. 1)