Do you remember how to play blind man’s bluff? One player is blind folded and the rest hide in plain site. As the ‘blind man’ roams around the room the other players try to lead him to each other by answering his questions with ‘your getting warmer/hotter’ or cooler/colder as the case may be. We’re going to start out kind of cool here as we scoot around the Old Testament a little bit but it’ll warm up pretty fast so hang in there.
Exodus 4:11 (NASB) The LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?” A blind person is someone who can’t see physically and anyone who’s read the bible knows that humans are subject to spiritual blindness. Aside from a mention of blindness in Genesis when a certain group of Sodomites are struck with it, this is the first mention of blindness in the Bible (to the best of my knowledge.) Moses is still trying to convince the Lord that he’s not the man for the job by complaining about how he’s not a good speaker. To which the Lord responds with something like “I made your mouth don’t you think I know if it works or not?” He also clues us in here on something we don’t like to think about. ‘Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind?’ the God says to Moses, ‘ Is it not I, the LORD?’ God is in fact the one who makes a person deaf, blind or otherwise.
Aside from the obvious conclusion about God knowing whether or not we can perform a certain thing (God knows) we are faced with the bald fact that physical blindness is something that God does. Sometimes people are made blind. Sometimes they are blinded—physically as well as spiritually. Exodus 23:8 (NASB) tells us: “You shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of the just.” A bribe can blind man—if he takes it. See? Our actions do affect us. So from a spiritual standpoint we can blind ourselves if we choose to look the other way. If we allow our own agenda to affect our judgement, we can make some bad decisions. I know taking a bribe is not the same as, say, being for or against tongues or some other major doctrinal issue but it can be a powerful motivator. Religious fervor should never be underestimated.
Now after these verses in Exodus blindness is mentioned a number of times but Deuteronomy 27:18 (NASB) sums up what they say nicely, ‘Cursed is he who misleads a blind person on the road.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’ Misleading anyone is despicable let alone someone who is depending on you for guidance. This leader is ‘cursed’. You don’t lead someone in a wrong direction if they’re blind and most teachers and leaders know better.
Considering all these things together, we get an idea of what God wants with respect to guidance and those who cannot help themselves. It goes along with the idea of a Pastor being a shepherd of the sheep. Sheep are stupid and will stand there and be eaten or run over by a truck for that matter. They need someone to care for them. Should that care be done in a fashion that they are led into harm, then the shepherd isn’t doing his job. Neither, then, is the pastor doing right if he leads his flock in a direction that causes them harm.
Are we getting warmer yet?
Cursed is he who misleads a blind person on the road.
And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
–Deuteronomy 27:18 (NASB)