This is something of a Christmas message and end of the year State of the Church sermon all wrapped into one. But the point is that I want to meditate on the covenant curses that are raining down on us in the form of Covid-statist tyranny, the sexual promiscuity and perversion jihad, on top of abortion insanity, fiscal madness, and political imbecility. Christians find themselves caught in the middle of family and culture turmoil. What are we to do? The central thing we must do is recognize all of it as judicial blindness from the Lord. He had done this.
“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins” (2 Pet. 1:4-9).
SUMMARY OF THE TEXT
By His power, God has given to His people everything that they need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Christ, at all times and in all places (1:3). Having escaped the corruption of the world, Christians are to grow in holiness and godliness through God’s great and precious promises (1:4). The broad outline of that growth is listed in seven additional steps added to faith in those promises (1:5-7). With those eight virtues abounding in Christians, they cannot be barren or unfruitful in the knowledge of Jesus (1:8). But a Christian who lacks these things is blind, near-sighted, and has forgotten that he has been forgiven (1:9).
TWO DIFFERENT KINDS OF JUDICIAL BLINDNESS
We know from elsewhere in the Bible, that unbelievers have a certain kind of spiritual blindness: 2 Cor. 4:3-4: “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” Likewise in Ephesians 4:18, speaking of the Gentiles, “Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.” That is one kind of judicial blindness. But here in 2 Peter 1, we have a different kind of blindness described, what we might call a covenantal judicial blindness. Peter is describing believers who have not progressed as far as they should have as blind and forgetful (2 Pet. 1:9). Jesus calls the church of Laodicea to repent of a similar blindness: “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked… anoint thine eyes with eye-salve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke, and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent” (Rev. 3:17-19).
COVENANT BLINDNESS & CALAMITY
This same covenantal blindness is described in the Old Testament: “If thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God… all these curses shall come upon thee… The Lord shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart: and thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness…” (Dt. 28:15, 28). Likewise, in Isaiah’s commission: “Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed… But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return…” (Is. 6:10, 13). So when God’s covenant people disobey and break covenant, God sends covenant curses and spiritual blindness on them for the purpose of dividing the faithful from the unfaithful: some are proven to be complete unbelievers who die in their blindness, but there are some who struck with some blindness in order to chastise them, and call them to repentance (e.g. Rev. 3:17-19, Jn. 12:37-43).
CONCLUSIONS & APPLICATIONS
While America is fast joining the post-Christian nations of the West, there is another sense in which covenanted nations do not have the luxury of forgetting their Christian past. They may forget their Christian past, but their Christian past cannot forget them. Or to be more precise, God does not forget covenants made and broken. And we have manifestly fallen under covenantal curses. We have murdered our own children, and while we have not yet stooped to eating them, we most certainly have experimented on them and used their bodies for sorcery (what we call “medical research”) (Dt. 28:53-58). We have been chased by tiny minorities of sexual madmen (Dt. 28:25, 32:30), and we have been struck with terror and diseases (Dt. 32:25, 28:59-61).
But it is perilously easy to make light of our sins in the church because they do not seem as bad as the pagans, but that is not at all the same thing as holiness, as godliness and virtue (2 Pet. 1:5-7). It’s said that in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king, but listen to what it says: “he that lacketh these things is blind” (2 Pet. 1:9). Do you lack any virtue, any temperance, any patience, any brotherly kindness or charity? Those “little sins” of anger, lust, envy, selfishness – they are blindness and near-sightedness. And like the church of Laodicea, we are tempted to make light of them because of how fabulously well-off we are: “knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind…?” We think we know what joy is because we have high speed internet, Instagram, and food on demand. But that isn’t joy. Joy is serving the Lord with gladness of heart for all the abundance of things (Dt. 28:47). Joy is holiness.
The only way out of this mess is if Jesus gives us eyes to see. “And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth” (Jn. 9:39-41).
Are you blind? Is our land full of the blind? Christ was born so that the blind might see.