I’m sure most of us have heard the phrase “blinded by love” and we can think of that couple in a relationship full of serious concerns, so blinded by their love for each other that they cannot see clearly anymore. When we are the person on the outside of that relationship looking at it objectively we can see all the warning signs. We can see the damaging habits. We can see the imminent let down that “love” will bring. Why? Because the love hasn’t blinded us. We have our eyes that are open and we can see clearly.
We’ve been studying Isaiah and Jeremiah together as a husband and wife this year. I’m continually shocked and saddened by the Israelites. They were God’s special possession! He promised to be their God, and they his people. He would go ahead of them and fight for them, provide for them, protect them and bless them. All God asked is that he would be their “One and only”, that they would worship and love him above all things.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. - Deuteronomy 6:5
Yet, they did the exact opposite! The story of Israel is a tragic story of their “whoring” themselves out to other gods. They continually turned their back on the ONE who would satisfy for the cheap pleasures and false gods of the nations around them. Reading the passages about Israel's unfaithfulness to God is so sad! They were supposed to be his and yet, they constantly gave themselves away thinking they’d find something better.
I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries. Yet I saw that her unfaithful sister Judah had no fear; she also went out and committed adultery. - Jeremiah 3:8
And when God sent the prophets to show them their sin and turn them back to God? They were so in love with their evil deeds and false gods that they couldn't even hear or see. They were blinded by their love for all the things God had forbidden.
But the truth is that we’ve all been invited into the most intimate relationship with the God of the universe because of the way Jesus made for us when he took the punishment of our sins upon himself. We are offered, through Jesus, a love so satisfying that it puts all other loves to shame. But, too often, we are just like the Israelites. It’s all too easy to turn away to other things to satisfy. Worse than that, our other “loves” often blind us to the damage they are doing to our souls and the inevitable disappointment they will bring. All those things we love above God, they become idols.
Our love of safety keeps us from taking bold steps when the Holy Spirit nudges us to move.
Our love of pleasure can grow compromise and apathy in our hearts as we take pleasure in the
things that grieve our Savior.
Our love for money can keep us building our earthly kingdoms and forgetting to invest in the heavenly kingdom.
Our love of status and approval often drive us to compromise, stay silent and shy away from uncomfortable truths, and culturally unacceptable battle lines.
Our love of comfort keeps us away from challenging situations, messy, hurting people and from taking the good news of Jesus to people lost in darkness.
Our love of our good name keeps us fighting battles with fellow broken sinners rather than waring with God’s word against the real enemy, Satan and his evil angels.
You see, we are all prone to love other things above God. And if we aren’t careful, that “love” will quickly blind us to all the damage it is doing in our lives and all the real joys we are missing because of it.
We wonder why reading the Bible holds no joy for us. We wonder why God feels so distant and our conscience feels seared and dulled to the sins around us. We are in “love” with the things of this world and that love has blinded us to the true life we find when we walk close to Jesus.
So what can be done? How can blind people like you and I see again? Our eyes can only be opened by the great physician who proved himself able to cure both physical and spiritual blindness - Jesus. It’s always Jesus.
“I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles,
to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release
from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.”
“I am the Lord; that is my name!
I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols.
See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare;
before they spring into being I announce them to you.”
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. - Isaiah 42:6-9, 16
We must humble ourselves, admit the truth of our unfaithful hearts and throw ourselves at the feet of our Savior who wants us near him so much that he was willing to die to make that possible.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. - 1 John 1:9
Then walk away. By the help of the Holy Spirit, the very seed of God planted in you, let new life grow. We open God’s Word daily and ask him to awaken our hearts to a new love, a better love, a true love that fully satisfies.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. - Ezekiel 36:26
We don’t have to stay blinded by love. Sometimes it takes hearing the hard truth about our misplaced affections so that we can take a step back and see clearly. Ask God through his Word to open your eyes, to give you a new heart, to show you a love that makes everything afterwards seem small and insignificant. Let true love trump your lesser loves, spend time daily reading the Words of the amazing God who loves you so much. Nothing will ever be the same after that!