We Should Completely Close our Eyes and Follow the Word

Lent 4 Monday

Isaiah 42:16

“But I will lead the blind in the way they do not know; I will guide them in paths they have not known. I will turn the darkness before them into light and turn the rough places into level ground. All this I will do for them and not forsake them.”

The “blind” are the believers blessed by God who do not see any help or counsel in their darkness and sadness, who do not see an end of their evil days. This is why they lay hold of the Word that shines in the darkness. It leads them in the path they do not know, that is, in the faith of the things that are to come but that one does not see. The Word comforts them and lifts up the weak souls so that they do not despair. But this is an excellent verse that contains the very important teaching that in all danger, in all distress, we should completely close our eyes and follow the Word. For those who want to see in dangers and who want to look for assistance and counsel only make their pain worse and do nothing but wear themselves out in vain; they are miserable twice over. We have been shown a different path according to which we are to live in the midst of danger, namely, that we close our eyes and believe that, although we are blind, God is not blind, but sees the outcome of the temptation, as it says in 1 Corinthians 10:13. But even if you were in the depth of the sea like Jonah, God sees the ways and the means by which he will lead you out of there. For who prepared Jonah’s path? He was not only blind but in a double darkness. This is how we too are to be blind and see nothing, so that God alone may see all things. This is why he wants us to be like children, Matthew 18:3. But the adversaries and all the godless are not children; this is why their eyes are open and they see and always seek all kinds of ways and means by which to oppress us. But we are blind, so that our Lord Christ himself may give us understanding and open his eyes over us and toward us, as he has often done in our time. He has protected us from all dangers that had been invented against us in great numbers during these years. … Furthermore, we must follow not only in physical misfortunes this advice to close our eyes, so that we do not weary ourselves with fleshly undertakings but entrust the matter to God. This advice is much more important in spiritual temptations. Now, when you are tested by Satan and are unable to perceive any way to escape from it, just close your eyes completely and do not give any answer but simply entrust the matter to God. And this is the highest wisdom of the Christians we ought to follow in the hour of death as well. At that time, our flesh trembles that it must migrate into a new life and doubts its salvation. If you follow these thought, you are lost. This is why you must close your eyes here as well and say with St. Stephen, Acts 7:58: “Lord Jesus, into your hands I command my spirit.” And then the Lord Jesus will certainly be present with his angels and guide you in the path. This is what he says here: “I will turn the darkness before them into light.” For this light is the faith that lays hold of the Word, so that we emerge from all dangers in this way. This is also why Peter and David called the Word a light unto our feet, Psalm 119:105; 2 Peter 1:19.

 

St. Louis ed., 6:517-518.

This entry was posted in Daily Devotions From the Writings of Martin Luther. Bookmark the permalink.