14 “Do not insult the deaf or cause the blind to stumble. You must fear your God; I am the Lord.
Leviticus 19:14 (NLT)
Who among us would insult a deaf person or cause a blind person to stumble. Surely not you or me. That would elicit a horrible feeling in me that I would have trouble atoning for. So naturally I wouldn’t do it. But we’ve all seen these dastardly deeds done. For me mostly in the movies. For some, we’ve seen it first hand.
But back to our original thought. If this is so obvious, why does the Lord make a point of even mentioning it in His word?
Because, we live in a broken world. And there are those who under the direction of an evil spirit, may very well insult the deaf and cause a blind person to stumble.
But here’s another take… Are we not all deaf and blind at times? Deaf to the message of salvation? Deaf to the message of love, forgiveness, and peace? Are we all not blind at times to the plan God has for us? To His love and forgiveness? Blind to the needs of others?
I know I am. Then there’s the “fear” part of this verse.
Should we cower and hide from God when we insult the deaf or trip the blind? We can try. But there is no hiding place from God’s eyes and ears. God does not want us to “fear” him in the sense of fright. But rather to know that any act that goes against His precepts hurts and disappoints Him. Luckily for you and me, the God we fear (who we do not want to disappoint) is a loving God and is gracious, merciful and overly generous with forgiveness. When God tells us to “fear” Him, I think He wants us to “feel bad” when we mess up.
Have you ever been mean to someone and later regretted your actions and apologized? We apologize because we know it’s the right thing to do. And also because when we see our actions as God sees them, it makes us feel uncomfortable. A sincere apology, makes us “feel better”.
Let’s face it. Figuratively speaking, we all insult the deaf and cause the blind to stumble. And when we do, we should not run and hide. For where can we hide from the Creator of the universe? Instead, God wants us to run towards Him, asking for forgiveness which He is eager to give.
“Lord, help me to love others as You love them. Help me to see that in so many ways I too am handicapped. Teach me to help rather than hurt. Show me how to sing to the deaf and dance with the blind.”