Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Saul: Blinded By The Light
Saul’s famous encounter on the Damascus Road left him blind for three days (Acts 9:7-9). While God (particularly in the Messianic age) is often characterized as opening blind eyes, the only other instances of a divine agent causing blindness are to the men of Sodom (Genesis 19:11) and an Aramean army surrounding the prophet Elisha (II Kings 6:18). In each instance, the blindness was temporary.
Why did God use blindness to reach Saul? Of the five senses, blindness would be the one loss that would be most jolting and halt his movements. He could have persisted in his journey with the loss of hearing, speech, touch, or taste. Blindness made him stop in his tracks.
At estimates as high as 80%, the eye accounts for by far the greatest percentage of our sensory intake. In eliminating the majority of stimuli, blindness may have made him hear God more clearly. Is this why many close their eyes during prayer?
Blindness also rendered Saul more helpless than if he had lost any of his other senses.
Blindness had religious ramifications, disqualifying Saul from much of Jewish worship (Leviticus 21:18, 22:22; Deuteronomy 15:21). The proverbial punishment fit the crime as Paul’s physical malady mirrored his spiritual condition.
What was the primary point of Saul’s blindness? To render him helpless? To stop him in his tracks? To accentuate his spiritual condition? Other reasons?