25b Paul had made this final statement: “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your ancestors when he said through Isaiah the prophet:
26 “‘Go to this people and say,
“You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.”
27 For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’
28 “Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!”
Paul quotes Isaiah 6:9-10 above which we looked at on Friday May 4th of this year when two versions were considered, the NIV and the LXX. Then I wrote the following
I believe we all know individuals upon hearing the word of God, they harden their hearts closing their ears and eyes to the truth being presented to them. They do not wish to acknowledge their sin and so purposely blind themselves to the truth, thus Isaiah presenting the truth to them only leads to them hardening their hearts. In effect he made their hearts calloused, but the reality is they did it to themselves.
And their sin was so great, they were not about to change, so they were not about to change and understand with their hearts. No they would continue in their wickedness and their prophesied destruction would occur. Thus God’s judgment would come to the nations.
While those remarks remain valid, Paul’s purpose is different here. He wants the Jews who refuse to acknowledge the truth of Jesus as the Christ, and when they do not the result is that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen! Of course the message was supposed to go the Gentiles anyway, but by the nation and people of Israel, not simply by a few apostles and many disciples. This goes back to Genesis 12:1-3
The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
Eventually all the peoples on earth were blessed through Abram, his bloodline that led to Jesus. However, as noted in Isaiah 49:6 Israel was to be a light for the Gentiles, but were not until the time of Christ.
He [God] says: “It is too small a thing for you to be My servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that My salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”
Because of Israel’s hard hearts, this had to wait for Jesus to arrive and fulfill the many prophecies of the Old Testament – especially those in Isaiah 53. I am thankful to live in a time when knowledge of God’s salvation literally reaches the ends of the earth.