"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

The Blindness That Leaves A Person Very Weary

"And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door" (Genesis 19:11).

Two angels had been sent from God to warn the people of Sodom that impending judgment was at hand. On arriving at Lot's house they soon find the streets filled with angry men desiring to take the two angels, whom they thought to be desirable men, for themselves. When Lot attempted to talk them out of their degenerate plan, the Sodomites pounced on Lot to physically harm him. The angels ended up pulling Lot inside his own house to rescue him from the angry Sodomites. The angels then struck the Sodomites with blindness. However, the blindness that came upon the Sodomites was unique.

The Hebrew word translated 'blindness' is used only here and in II Kings 6:18 when God 'blinded' the Syrian soldiers so they could not see Elisha, even though he conversed with them and eventually led the Syrians all the way into another country. The soldiers did not recognize the very man they were looking for even though he was standing in front of them, conversing with them, and ultimately leading them on a march.

So it was in the case of the Sodomites --

'They wearied themselves to find the door.

They sought the door to enter Lot's home to take him and the angels captive, but they couldn't find it. The could see everything else - but not the door. Their blindness and inability to find what they were looking for led them to weariness. They eventually gave up.

There is a lesson here.

This blindness that comes from God is a form of judgment. There comes a time when a person, having ignored the repeated warnings and messages that come from God, will come face to face with the inability to find the very thing for which one is looking. When stricken with this Divine blindness, God turns a sinner over to his 'own lusts,' and the very door he seeks to open (the door of personal pleasure, satisfaction, happiness, etc . . ) will not be found. The sinner will eventually grow weary of searching for those things that promise pleasure. Satisfaction shall not be sensed. Peace will never be personal. Fulfillment will not be found.

In short, the high that sin brings will never fully or perpetually satisfy. The sensual pleasures of this world may be initially sweet to the taste, but they become a bitter tonic to the soul - for everyone. Sinners, tyically pictured by the Sodomites and the Syrians, will find themselves growing very, very weary. My prayer for those who feel this weariness of sin is that they will, by God's grace, find the Door that leads to genuine soul satisfaction.

In His Grace,


Wade

27 comments:

volfan007 said...

wade,

amen. and, lets show them the door. lets lead them to it.

david

Cecdaddy said...

I accept that this is probably a bit off topic, but I am intrigued with the word translated as "blindness" in this passage. Does it basically mean that they could see something, just not what existed in reality?

I have always understood this passage, and II Kings 6:18, with a simple understanding of blindness being the inability to see, total darkness. My understanding of the passage never made much sense, but it was all I had.

If anything, this unique "blindness" is more dangerous than a "blackout" blindness, because if everything is dark, atleast you realize that you are blind and do not see. To see and yet not be able to see what is true will leave you deceived with no hope of finding the truth.

In regards to the emphasis of the post, it sounds a lot like Romans 1:24, 26, & 28 "God gave them over..."

S.A.M. said...

Wade,
There is a lot of people blindly searching out there. Does that make some of us guide dogs to them?
Just a thought.

SAM

Anonymous said...

Wade,

Terrific thoughts this morning.

I am intrigued by the "great and small" modifier. Is that a description of the blindness or the people?

Thanks for the the reminder that I need to be on guard for intentionally ignored sin in my life.

jasonk said...

Your post reminded me of an article I read yesterday that talked about actress Halley Berry, and her attempt at suicide a few years ago. She was in her car, in her garage, engine running, breathing in the fumes. But the thought of her mom stopped her, and she turned off the engine, and went on with her life.
She said that she was so desperate because her husband had left her, and she did not believe that anyone could ever love her. This, in spite of the fact that she is one of the most beautiful people in Hollywood, the object of desire for millions of men around the world. She was blind to the beauty God had given her on the outside, to the point that she was ready to take her own life.
It just reinforces our call to be salt and light in the world.

volfan007 said...

wade,

were you affected by the tornadoes that hit oklahoma?

david

TruthOfActs said...

Wade,
Your post is a very good description of the world today. You said, “They could see everything else – but not the door.”

A blind man could find a door to any house in the world. He would go around the house feeling and would find it.
I’d like to suggest that they could see a door but it was a fake door and they grew weary trying to open it.

Likewise the fake doors that promise pleasure will never bring satisfaction, peace, and fulfillment.

Also many religions like the Book of Mormon are fake doors. “You are following a different ‘way to heaven’ that doesn’t go to heaven at all.” (Galatians 1:6)
Rex Ray

Wade Burleson said...

Volfann,

A small tornado just north of us and a larger one in OKC. No fatalities.

Wade Burleson said...

cecdaddy,

You are correct. They could see, but they could not see reality. Though they were 'blind' to the door they would argued and become angry if you said they were blind -- in their minds they saw everything in living color - 20/20. The same could be said of the Syrians.

This is a good analogy regarding those who are apart from the grace of God.

Anonymous said...

What a great post today, Wade! Thanks for the reminder that we can all become blind to the sin in our lives.

AND for the clear statement that only the Spirit of God can lift that blindness -- I want to help some folks SO badly that I'm sure I have tried to lift their "blindness", not relying on the Spirit.

Again....MY sin can make we unable to see the most simple things!

Charles

Wade Burleson said...

Sam,

I personally believe that guide dogs for those who cannot see would be those who preach the law to those who are lost. I think there is a place for that kind of preaching of morality.

But it never gives sight.

Only the Spirit of God, through the preaching of the cross (what the Bible calls 'grace and truth' or 'the Spirit and the belief of the truth' brings sight to the blind.

Ultimately, the hardest thing for most Southern Baptists to 'see' is that God alone can remove spiritual blindness. The 'natural' blindness we all possess (spiritually) is that no man can 'see' the kingdom of God without the new birth (John 3). but the blindness described in this post seems to me to be a far more serious blindness in that God gives the sinner over to his sins and ultimate judgment.

The natural blindness is overcome when God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, shines in our hearts the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ (II Corinthians 4:6). However, Cecdaddy is right about this post, it is more a reference to Romans 1:24, 'God gave them over . . . '

Wade Burleson said...

Thanks Charles!

Bob Cleveland said...

Wade:

Within the body, not every part can see. In a normal sense, only the eyes can. The other parts do other things, and most of them can feel, as in pain.

It's interesting that the brain has no pain sensors (so I've heard) in itself. But it is the part of us that pulls it all together and tells the finger it hurts and tells our mind that we're looking at red or blue, or that's Wade's picture over there.

I think that's a teeny bit analogous to Spiritual sight. All our senses see all this stuff, but we don't even know anything's wrong, or hurts, or is good, until the Spirit tells us. Our tragic mistake is not keeping the Holy Spirit between us and everything we see or touch, like the guys did all those years ago with the law, in phylacteries on their hand or forehead.

bryan riley said...

Very good post. The Door, Jesus, is the Way of escape from the idolatry of self that leads to blindness, and we all must endeavor to be better followers of Jesus to be the salt and light to the world we were called to be.

Wade, just a note to say we are in England safely. We arrived at 7:00 a.m. in this time zone this morning and are exhausted. I posted a short note about arriving at my blog. I hope you are well.

Jim Paslay said...

Wade,

Good post! But can I point out one of the reasons why we have contention within our convention. It has to do with the inspiration and authority of Scripture.

Obviously, you interpret this passage that the sin of Sodom and Gommorah was homosexuality. But just the other day on a moderate website, there was a comment made by a blogger and this person put a link up entitled GodMadeMeGay.com and readers were encouraged to check out a former Baptist minister's new views on homosexuality.

The problem is that according to some who have a low view of Scripture, the sin of Sodom and Gommorah was not the sin of homosexuality but inhospitality. This former Baptist minister went on to justify homosexual behavior and twisted every reference to the sin in Scripture.

My point, how can all who post on your blog come to the same conclusion about the blindness you talk about when we can't even agree what the sin was in the first place?

Bottomline, it does matter how a person interprets this passage in order to get to the challenge you have for us in your post! If the passage doesn't refer to the sin of homosexuality, then why did God strike them blind in the first place?

bryan riley said...

Jim, did Wade say THE sin was homosexuality? I see the sin here as the idolatry of pleasure/self, not any one specific sexual sin. And I thought that was what Wade said. The first mention of homosexuality on this entire page is in Jim's question and comment. That doesn't suggest that Wade is saying homosexual conduct is not sinful, but it also doesn't suggest that Wade is pointing to Sodom and Gomorrah as proof that homosexuality is the great evil of the world.

Of course, I'm not Wade and didn't post this post, but I am greatly confused at your comment and how it relates to the original post.

TruthOfActs said...

March 31, 2007
Ah! I knew it would not be long before good Baptists got off subject and got a disagreement going.

Jim Paslay, I don’t like the way you said, “moderate website.” If you had said, “crazy website”, that would be OK, but to claim it was a “moderate website” is mud and a slur.

With that off my chest and since I’m off the subject, I’d like to ask something that has always bothered me.
Verse 8: “Look, I have two virgin daughters. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do with them as you wish. But please, leave these men alone, for they are my guests and are under my protection.”

All I can see is the Bible records these words as said from a sick scaredy-cat man, and they are another example of words in the Bible that are not out of the mouth of God, and we should not use them as guidelines.
Rex Ray

Bob Cleveland said...

Since Bryan mentioned that Jesus was the Door, I'll trot out the old point my mentor mentioned to me 40 years ago. According to my Strong's, that word means a portal or an entrance .. the opening or closure.

I never enter my home through the door. I come through the doorWAY after I open the door. It keeps me out, if it's not open.

Jim Paslay said...

To Bryan Riley:

I think maybe the word "degenerate" was what led me to believe that Wade was referring to homosexuality. The fact is there is only one true interpretation of the sin that was prevalent among the men of Sodom.

To Rex Ray:


I think I got the idea about the site being from a moderate because the individual claims to be a moderate. It was not mud or a slur. The truth hurts! You overreacted!

Also, you have a very warped view of the inspiration of Scripture. I do not claim that the words of verse 8 were spoken from the mouth by God. But they are a part of Scripture and verse 8 is true because Lot did offer up his virgin daughters because he was a man out of God's will and he tried to fix matters with his own wisdom. The desperation of Lot in offering his two virgin daughters also proves that the perverted men were trying to have homosexual relations with the two angels. The idea that the sin was inhospitality is so stupid it doesn't make sense.

Finally, your post and Bryan's prove what I was getting at in the first place. I will quote myself again:

"Bottomline, it does matter how a person interprets this passage in order to get to the challenge you have for us in your post! If the passage doesn't refer to the sin of homosexuality, then why did God strike them blind in the first place?"

Kevin Bussey said...

Great words Wade.

I pray I don't become blinded to my sin. I also pray that my true friends would warm me ahead of time before it became too late.

TruthOfActs said...

Jim Paslay,
I don’t believe I overreacted, but was observant.

Could you have found the same ‘garbage’ from a blogger on the website of a conservative? By naming the website ‘moderate’, it gives a slant that the website believes likewise.

If you want more ‘garbage’ to pin on moderates and say the truth hurts, go to my website and read what Scott the Mormon says. After 27 comments to each other, we agreed we are wasting out time and have said our goodbyes.

Jim, I’m glad we agree there are words in the Bible that are NOT from the mouth of God. That means you believe one of the 8 definitions of inerrancy that says all words are reported in truth, but not all words are truthful.

Since you say I have a very warped view in the inspiration of Scripture, welcome to the club.

On another point, Wade clearly defined the sin of the angry men with his post: “On arriving at Lot’s house they soon find the streets filled with angry men desiring to take the two angels, whom they thought to be desirable men for themselves.” Case closed.
Rex Ray

volfan007 said...

so, t-rex, do you agree with jim and me that these men in sodom were ought to have sex with the two angels, whom they thought were men? you know, homosexuality?


david

ps. t-rex, i always have trouble following your line of thought.

TruthOfActs said...

Volfan,
I don’t understand how you and Jim think there is a debate if the men of Sodom were homosexuals or not.

Living Bible—verse 5 “…Bring out those men to us so we can rape them.”
Holman: “…Send them out to us so we can have sex with them!”
New American Standard: “…Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them.”

Of course if only the King James is read: “…Bring them out unto us, that we may know them”; some might argue they just wanted to shake hands.

Good talking to you.
Rex

bryan riley said...

Jim Paslay, I don't believe any specific sin separates us from God. Sin does: period. It is the same thing as what separated Adam and Eve from their intimacy from God. It is that tempation to be our own gods. It is disobedience. It is lack of faith in God. HOmsexuality is just one manifestation of a much deeper problem. That is why I am responding to what you wrote. I think when we focus on a single sinful act we really miss it and distract from the truth and the good news.

One Salient Oversight said...

Hello! Anyone here? I think there was some blog post here but I couldn't read it. And then I come to the comments thread and no one has said anything.

Anonymous said...

I think blindness is what Southern Baptists and leaders like Richard Land have when they proclaim support for and justness of Bush's war in Iraq and ignore the reality shown in pictures at http://bestcyrano.org/IMG/FACE_WAR/albumfow/index.htm

TruthOfActs said...

Oversight,
Very funny; are you living up to your name, or have you been blinded as the men referred to in Wade’s post?
Rex Ray