Seeing, Yet not Seeing
Deuteronomy 29:2-9
And Moses called to all Israel, and said to them, You have seen all that the LORD did before your eyes in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh…

The Israelites had seen God's mighty works (ver. 9), yet God had not given them a heart to perceive, nor eyes to see (ver. 4).

I. NATURAL SIGHT WITHOUT SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT. Moses accuses the people of blindness to the facts of their own history. These facts included:

1. God's mighty works in Egypt; here, as in Deuteronomy 4:34; Deuteronomy 7:19, classified as temptations, signs, and wonders (vers. 2, 3).

2. God's guidance of the people in the desert, which also was rife in signs and wonders (vers. 5, 6), and was a course of discipline (temptation, in sense of trial) throughout.

3. The victories over Sihon and Og (vers. 7, 8). No people ever saw so many miracles or passed through so extraordinary a curriculum as Israel did. Yet Moses says they had failed to apprehend the lessons of their history. Seeing, they saw not (Matthew 13:10-16). That generation may not have been so dull as the one which had preceded it, but even it had shown by recent rebellions (Numbers 20., 21.) how far it was from having laid earnestly to heart the lessons of God's dealings with it. A like veil lies on every unspiritual mind (2 Corinthians 3:13-18). The Bible is a book of riddles to it (Luke 24:25-27, 44-46). Christ is known only after the flesh (2 Corinthians 5:16). The lines of a Divine leading in the events of life are not recognized. Warnings are scorned; prosperity is misused; adversity hardens. There is outward experience of facts, but, as in Israel's case, the Word preached does not profit, not being mixed with faith in them that hear it (Hebrews 4:2).

II. SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT IS FROM GOD. Yet not arbitrarily given or withheld. It is given to those who feel their need of it, who seek it, and who act in faithfulness to the light already possessed (Psalm 25:9, 12, 14; Psalm 119:18; Matthew 13:10-16; John 7:17). From none such will God withhold the "heart to perceive, and eyes to see." On the other hand, Divine illumination is indispensable to the knowledge of spiritual truth (cf. John 6:45; 1 Corinthians 2:12-16; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Ephesians 1:17). As the poet's eye is needed for the discernment of the poetic suggestions and analogies of nature, so is the spiritual eye needed to penetrate "the secret of the Lord." The eye in this case, as in the other, "sees only what it brings with it the power of seeing." And to gain this seeing eye, there must, as before remarked, be prayer - prayer and obedience. Without these two golden keys, no thought, no labor, no learning, no cleverness, will enable us to force the gates of the inner sanctuary of truth. God's world, God's Word, God's providence, will be alike mysterious; if spiritual instruction is offered, the reply will be "Doth he not speak parables?" (Ezekiel 20:49). - J.O.

Parallel Verses
KJV: And Moses called unto all Israel, and said unto them, Ye have seen all that the LORD did before your eyes in the land of Egypt unto Pharaoh, and unto all his servants, and unto all his land;

WEB: Moses called to all Israel, and said to them, You have seen all that Yahweh did before your eyes in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land;

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