EARS THAT DO NOT HEAR -- EYES THAT DO NOT SEE
The message of this prophecy from Isaiah was so indicative of the state of heart of so many people throughout the ages, even to this present day, that it was repeated for emphasis over and over again throughout the Scriptures - by Paul in Acts, and in various forms throughout the New Testament. It is verified by Paul as a true prophecy where he said it was spoken by the Spirit.
“So when they did not agree among themselves, they departed after Paul had said one word: "The Holy Spirit spoke rightly through Isaiah the prophet to our fathers, saying, 'go to this people and say: 'Hearing you will hear, and shall not understand; and seeing you will see, and not perceive...” Acts 28:25.
After his anointing as a prophet, Isaiah was told, “Go, and tell this people: 'keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive. Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and return and be healed.” Isa 6:9-10.
At first glance this prophecy seems to say - deliberately close the eyes and ears of the people, and harden their hearts so that they will not be saved. For instance, “Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts.”
The real message is that by telling the truth to these people, they will automatically turn their backs on it, closing their ears and eyes and dulling their hearts, so that they do not have to face the truth and be required to change their ways. Isaiah was not told to stop prophesying, but rather, “go, and tell this people: keep on hearing, but do not understand.” It was more a prediction than an instruction, so that Isaiah would not be put off by the indifferent attitude of his audience.
OTHER PASSAGES RELATED TO ISAIAH’S PROPHECY
Matt 13:13-17. Jesus speaking: “Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:
“Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive; for the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.' But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”
John 12:39-41. “Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again: "He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, lest they should see with their eyes, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them." These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him.”
Mark 4:11-12. “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, so that “Seeing they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand; lest they should turn, and their sins be forgiven them.”
Matt 15:7-9. “Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: “these people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honour Me with their lips but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”
WHY DID JESUS SPEAK IN PARABLES?
“And the disciples came and said to Him, ‘Why do You speak to them in parables?’ He answered and said to them, ‘Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:
“Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive; for the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.” Math 13:10-15.
“All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: "I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world.” Math 13:34-35.
TAKE HEED HOW YOU HEAR
“No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lampstand, that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light. Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him.” Luke 8:16-18.
REASONS WHY PEOPLE DO NOT HEAR
The Parable of the Sower - Why do people turn their backs on the truth
“Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside, and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” Matt 13:3-9.
The parable explained
“fell by the wayside” - When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart.
“Some fell on stony places” - “where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away.” - No earth means there was no depth in their hearing to understand, and when daily activities resume their meagre knowledge - no root - drifted away.
“some fell among thorns” - is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.
“others fell on good ground” - he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, and produces abundant fruit in spiritual growth and ministry.
Even Jesus’ disciples were chastised for their careless understanding of what He was saying. “Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened? Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember?” Mark 8:17-18. “So he said to them, “How is it you do not understand?” 8:21.
People believe in things that they want for themselves
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” 2 Tim 4:3-4.
The deceiving presence of Antichrist
“The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thess 2:9-12.
This passage suggests that all Christians having a love of the truth received an anointing from the Holy Spirit that enables them to perceive truth from error. When the love of truth is rejected, people become a target for Antichrist to implant spirits of deception in their hearts.
John presents the same truth in 1 John 2:18-21. “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.”
It is not as though the world is so contaminated by evil and rebellious people that no one cares about God anymore. The prophecy of Revelation 9:2 about the bottomless pit being opened, and the whole world flooded by demon spirits controlled by Antichrist is upon us, propagating lies and deception that has been accepted as the real truth. Universities, bible colleges, schools, and churches, have been contaminated by teachers and councillors influenced by Antichrist’s worldly alternative to the real truth. People are pressed into accepting worldly precepts rather than biblical truth - into accepting things like political correctness, equal equality and power for women and children, love is more important than immorality. In an end time prophecy, Isaiah warns in Isaiah 3:12, “As for My people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O My people! Those who lead you cause you to err, and destroy the way of your paths.”
Complacency and indifference - The urgency to receive the salvation of the Lord
The allurements of the world and the pursuit of riches, have so captivated many souls, that they have become indifferent and complacent to the spiritual realm, and the urgent need of their salvation, relegating their pursuit of it to sometime in the future. But the Scriptures warn us that NOW is the day of salvation.
“For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you and in the day of salvation I have helped you. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Cor 6:2.
A WARNING TO GOD’S MINISTERS
The servant in the following reading may refer to the Jewish nation, who was given the responsibility to direct the message of the coming Messiah to the world, but is equally applicable to all ministers given the responsibility to convey truth.
“Who is blind but My servant, Or deaf as My messenger whom I send? Who is blind as he who is perfect, and blind as the Lord's servant? Seeing many things, but you do not observe; opening the ears, but he does not hear.” Isa 42:19-20.
A WARNING TO THE END TIME CHURCH
“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing' — and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked…” Rev 3:15-17. The alarming thing about this prophecy is the definite statement “I will vomit you out of my mouth.”
The following quotations show that we must minister on the Lord with the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn.” Matt 7:6.
“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.” 2 Tim 4:2-3.
“Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference (or distinction):” And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garments spotted with the flesh.” Jude 21-23.