A deadly disease is sweeping our nation, one which you may not even be aware. Some have felt the tragic effects in their own families, many more are affected by it and not even know the symptoms. In fact, the sickly demeanor and lifestyle has become so commonplace in our society, those who suffer terribly appear completely healthy to everyone around them. It’s nothing new, but it is just as deadly as it ever was. The worst part today, is fewer and fewer are brave enough to confront this infection.
We pour millions into cancer research, we are hyper-sensitive to obesity signs, we diagnose depression and anxiety and Attention Deficit Disorder. We sympathize with almost every degree away from optimal health, but not in the case of this morbid dysfunction. The spiritual health of our society is in grave condition. And it’s only getting worse.
On a grand scale of life and death, beginnings and ends, we are only a breath of the larger picture. There was a world of creatures, life and history before we were here. There will be a world of creatures, life and history after we have gone. But there is a truth about the whole thing, one who Created it all and one who will finish it. There is a Word from God that will remain forever, even though this earth and everything we have will pass away. This eternal Word promises life to you on account of Christ. And yet this generation suffers from a debilitating blindness. This generation is sick, unaware, and dying quickly.
The disease simply hides the truth. It plugs the ears that were made to receive this beautiful life-filled word. It hushes the voice of a God who acts for his people. It redirects a listening faith to be fed on sickly internal lies of inner heart. Shockingly, we have been too good at helping the disease silence the ears that listen and dim the eyes that see. Sadly, we have encouraged the disease to overtake our families, our children, and the generations to follow.
This is no new thing. Even the Almighty God saw this terrible ailment clearly which was actively plaguing His very own beloved people. After choosing, saving, leading His people Israel out of slavery guiding them into the land of promises, God says this:
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. (Deut 6:4-7) Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations “(Deut.7:9)
A God who spoke the stars and sun into existence, spoke the ancient anecdote into the lives of yet another wretched generation. Hear, He said. Hear and you will know. Hear and your children will know. Hear and know that the blindness will not overtake these people whom I have chosen to love.
And yet, we naturally want to keep God silent. His Word is, at best, peripheral to our every day. Our household is busy with activities and appointments, but the truth of God falls latent. We cringe at teaching God’s ancient truths to our own: we don’t know enough, we don’t have time, we might say the wrong things. We send them to an “expert” teacher and hope they teach them diligently a truth that matters most. But our sick and twisted society today will educate our little ones to look at the idols of their own emotions and personal truth. Our misguided teachers of this world will clog the ears of our young hearers with the commonplace chatter of death.
And we wonder, why won’t this young generation hear the Word of the Lord? Why are they blind to His promises? It’s not simply the wicked teaching that attacks from the public arena. It’s not just the shameless morals seen by the young people today. It is simple. They have not heard that the Lord is their God. They cannot trust their eyes in this world. In consequence, they suffer greatly and do not know.
It is a matter of life and death for our own children to know that the Lord is their God. And truly, to teach this in our world, it is not an easy task. For this generation to know the Word of the Lord, they must listen to a story about who they are as God’s creation, contrasting what the sick generation will show them. To know the Word of the Lord, they must believe God’s spoken truth in His revealed Word more clearly than the thoughts and desires observed from their own hands and heart. To know, they must trust their ears more than their blind eyes. But Our Lord, even here, acts for this poor and miserable generation.
Jesus heard every command of the Father and followed it to completion. “This is my beloved son,” said the Almighty who speaks. Here, ever and always, Jesus was listening for us. His only son drowned willingly in the flood of disease, remaking reality for the deaf and blind who wander. Jesus rose from the dead, opening dead eyes and clearing closed ears now and forever.
This is the incredible healing promise for us. Hidden in unlikely places, God heals and renews, one child at a time. His spoken Word names, forgives, and physically touches the flesh of the diseased, washing her ears and eyes wide open. Unknowing, undeserving, rotting away, the blind are buried with Jesus. But, for every deaf person that this blessed flood claims, a new listening life is granted. On account of Christ, through the waters of baptism, we are reconciled to God. By no merit of our own work, we know and love the Lord God with all our heart and soul and might.
Yet the battle to hear and know will continue. Every step of life we will meet challenges and distractions that silence his Word of truth. The destructive disease lurks down every path and deep within each heart. But for the sake of even this generation, Jesus’s ears will save us from death. For the faith of our children, God mends their unbelief with a Word of Christ. God has personally sealed eternal life and peace upon our own head and heart with water. This body, right here, got wet, and hears that the Lord is God. This very flesh saw for itself the steadfast love that is Christ. His Word will cure even this blinded generation: so they, too, will know.