Mortal, you are living in the midst of a rebellious house, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears to hear but do not hear for they are a rebellious house. – Ezekiel 12:2-3a
We are used to this type of language in scripture, at least some of us, we have heard this sort of phrase many times. Usually we hear it coming out of Jesus’ mouth, other times however its in the mouth of some of the other OT prophets. The one that really comes to mind is Isaiah. Check out what God says to Isaiah:
He said, “Go and tell this people:
“‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding;
be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’
10 Make the heart of this people calloused;
make their ears dull
and close their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed.”
Crazy stuff right? This theme, blindness and deafness, runs through Scripture. But in Ezekiel the context is a little bit different. Ezekiel is told that he lives among a rebellious house, a rebellious people, and its because of their rebelliousness that they are going to be sent out into exile. But notice the type of imagery God uses to describe their rebellion. God likens their rebellion to blindness and deafness. Yes they have eyes but they are blind to their sin! Yes they have ears but they are deaf to God’s word! How did this happen? How did they become blind? How did they become deaf? Ezekiel asserts that its their idolatry and sin that has made them blind and deaf. Their sin has so transformed them that they have become like the things they worship. Idols have “eyes” but they are blind, idols have “ears” but they are deaf. When we worship idols we “become” like our idols.
You probably agree with what I’m saying right now, but I want you to catch the gravity of this. Our progression into sin makes it impossible to see what God is doing in this world and in our lives. Our progression into sin makes it impossible to hear God’s word and respond to it.
Our own sins, habits, and practices may blind us to the ways that God is working in the world! Our sins, habits, and practices make us deaf to hearing the word of God!
One commentator on Ezekiel says that our own habits, practices, and ideologies make us blind, often without our recognition, to God’s character and ways. So as you go about your week, ask yourself the following question: Are there political ideologies, social-economic convictions, cultural values, or church traditions that have become so engrained within the Church that they no longer allow us to clearly see the character of God and the ways that He wants to manifest himself in our lives and in our community?