Friday, January 15, 2010

Daily Bible Reading - January 15 - A Tale of Two Blind Men

Today's reading (Gen. 26-27 and Mark 10) includes accounts about two blind men, Isaac and Bartimaeus. Their stories could not be more different. Isaac was a wealthy man; Bartimaeus was a beggar. Isaac was taken advantage of in his blindness; Bartimaeus was miraculously delivered from his blindness.

But perhaps the greatest difference between the two men is their faith in God. I don't want to needlessly disparage Isaac, but in my view, he is not a model of faith in God's word. Even though God told Rebekah that the older (Esau) would serve the younger (Jacob) in Gen. 25:23, Isaac was intent on blessing Esau with the exact opposite intent. To the man he thought was Esau, Isaac said: "Be lord over your brothers, and may your mother's sons bow down to you" (Gen. 27:29). I suppose you could defend Isaac by arguing that he did not know about the prophecy God made to Rebekah, but the fact that Isaac favored the profane and godless Esau (Heb. 12:16) does not speak in his favor.

By contrast, Bartimaeus had great faith in Christ, the kind of childlike trust Jesus spoke of earlier in the chapter which records his story (Mark 10:15). Bartimaeus insistently cried out for Jesus' help, even when "many rebuked him, telling him to be silent" (10:48). And as soon as Jesus called for him, the blind beggar threw off his cloak, "sprang up," and came to Jesus (10:50). This blind man could see what so many others could not - Jesus was the great David's greater Son, and could heal him of his blindness. His faith made him well (10:52).

May God help us to have the conviction of the certainty of His word, the spiritual vision to spring to our feet in complete willingness to do whatever He wants.

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