Copyright 1994 - 2020 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
July 29, 2002
Last Updated :
April 11, 2020
King Herod's Birthday Party Dance And John The Baptist, Job King David And King Solomon's Pledge, Guard Your Eyes From Evil And Avoid Temptations, We Are All Sinners Before God, We Have No Righteousness Of Our Own, Our Loss Of Spiritual Vision, Breaking Our Spiritual Communion With God, Light Of The Body, Diseased Vision, Spiritual Blindness Of The Jews, Jesus Christ Is The Great Light And Light Of The Gentiles, Most Jews Rejected Christ And Chose To Remain In Darkness
Continuing our discussion from part one, while we have now discussed some of the great men of the Old Testament who yielded to the sin of the lust of the eyes, they were not the only ones. Turning to the New Testament, we discover that it was as a result of evil King Herod's lust for his very own daughter-in-law, which climaxed at a birthday party where the lovely lady performed a very sexy dance, that John the Baptist lost his head -- at evil Herodias' insistence -- after John had called out King Herod's sin of adultery with Herodias. Consider what we are told concerning this event in the fourteenth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew:
"But when Herod's birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod. Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask. And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist's head in a charger. And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath's sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her. And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison. And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother. And his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus."
Matthew 14:6-12, KJV
As you can see, King Herod allowed his eyes to wander from his wife, to his beautiful daughter-in-law. It was his eyes which first got him into trouble. He yielded to the lust of his eyes, which is exactly what the Apostle John advised us not to do. So pleased by his daughter-in-law's dance, Herod made a proud boast. This was exactly the opening Herodias was waiting for. Thus, she used the incident to rid herself of John the Baptist once and for all. I am also reminded of something rather interesting which was stated by both the Patriarch Job and by King David. Likewise, Solomon offers us a word of wisdom regarding watching where we place our eyes. Consider the following set of verses:
"I MADE A COVENANT WITH MINE EYES; why then should I think upon a maid? . . . If mine heart have been deceived by a woman, or if I have laid wait at my neighbour’s door; Then let my wife grind unto another, and let others bow down upon her. For this is an heinous crime; yea, it is an iniquity to be punished by the judges."
Job 31:1, 9-11, KJV
"I WILL SET NO WICKED THING BEFORE MINE EYES: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me . . . Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me."
Psalms 101:3, 6, KJV
"LET THINE EYES LOOK RIGHT ON, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil."
Proverbs 4:25-27, KJV
In part one I mentioned how we must each control our very thoughts and not let them wander. In the previous verses we see how both Job and King David made the very same decision regarding their eyes. They each chose to guard their eyes from evil, and we must all likewise do the very same thing. We must not only control our thoughts, but we must control our eyes as well, and make the decision to not yield to any temptation in any way. Allow me to remind you of a verse I shared with you in part one of this series:
"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."
1 Corinthians 10:13, KJV
Based on the original Hebrew word that is used in the verse from the Book of Job, when Job says that he made a covenant with his eyes, it means that he made an agreement or pledge with his eyes that he would not think upon a maid. By itself, this verse seems a little cryptic. However, by reading verses nine and ten, we see exactly what Job is referring to. Being as he is a married man, Job is saying that he will guard his eyes so that he does not fall to temptation -- by looking at another woman -- and thus sin by committing adultery. Job's wife should have been thankful. After all, she did tell Job to curse God and die.
So whether they be good or evil, we have seen that a number of Biblical personalities yielded to the lust of their eyes. And, each time that they made that mistake, they fell into some form of serious trouble as well. From Adam and Eve, to the Fallen Angels, to Samson, to King David, to King Solomon, to King Herod, and others whom I have not even mentioned in this series, they all placed their eyes on the wrong thing, and it bore bad fruit in the end. Now lest we begin to think in our pride that perhaps we are not quite as bad as they were, or maybe not quite as guilty as they were, let us not forget the words of our Lord who said the following in the Gospels:
"Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, THAT WHOSOEVER LOOKETH ON A WOMAN to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."
Matthew 5:27-28, KJV
". . . He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her."
John 8:7, KJV
So as you can plainly see, all it takes is just one lustful look, and whether we have realized it or not, we have in fact already sinned, as far as God is concerned. Truly then, as the Scriptures make so very clear, we are all sinners who are saved only by the Grace and Mercy of God, through faith in the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We cannot possibly boast of possessing any righteousness of our own; because to do so is in direct contradiction to the Scriptures. Consider the following group of verses which confirm this very point:
". . . They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good . . . They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one."
Psalm 14:1, 3, KJV
"If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?"
Psalm 130:3, KJV
"But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap:"
Malachi 3:2, KJV
"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away."
Isaiah 64:6, KJV
"For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."
Matthew 5:20, KJV
"And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."
Luke 18:9-14, KJV
"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one . . . For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"
Romans 3:10, 23, KJV
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."
Ephesians 2:8-9, KJV
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;"
Titus 3:5, KJV
While we have thus far discussed the sin of lusting with our eyes, and the serious consequences which can result from it, the Bible speaks of another sin which we can commit with our eyes. I am not referring to our physical eyes, but rather to our spiritual eyes. I am referring to the loss of spiritual vision. In the Book of Proverbs we find the following very interesting verse:
"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
Proverbs 29:18, KJV
Obviously, the writer is not simply speaking of physical vision, being as losing one's physical vision does not necessarily result in death. It is for this reason that he clarifies his statement by adding "he that keepeth the law, happy is he". In the original Hebrew, the word that we see translated in the previous verse as "vision" is "chazown". Pronounced khaw-zone', one of the meanings of this word is divine communication.
In other words, when we take our eyes off of the Lord; when we withdraw ourselves from spiritual communion with Him; when we neglect God's Word and fail to live by it; then we truly do become spiritually blind -- we lose the vision -- and we are headed for serious trouble if we do not straighten out quickly. Isn't this exactly what happened to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden? They broke their spiritual communion with the Lord when they chose to listen to Satan's lies instead. They took their eyes off of the Lord, and they lusted after the fruit which Satan had promised them would make them as wise as gods. They broke God's Laws, and they soon suffered for it, and we have also been suffering for it ever since.
Some four thousand years later, Jesus would explain to His listeners the importance of maintaining our spiritual vision, and keeping our eyes on Heaven. In one of His sermons which we find in the Gospel of Luke, the Lord said the following:
"The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness."
Luke 11:34, KJV
It is interesting to note that in the previous verse, in the original Koine Greek language, the word "single" is derived from the word "haplous". Pronounced hap-looce', this word likewise means whole or sound. In similar fashion, the word "evil" is derived from the Greek word "poneros". Pronounced pon-ay-ros', this word means to be diseased or blind. In other words, Jesus appears to be telling His listeners that when our spiritual eyes are no longer sound; when they are in fact diseased and our vision has become impaired; we can become spiritually blind, so that we will end up walking in darkness. Having now better understood what Jesus meant by the above verse, it is also much easier to understand some of the other things He said throughout the four Gospels in regards to the spiritual deafness and blindness of the Jews. Even Jesus' own followers were very slow at understanding. Consider the following sample verses:
"And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear."
Matthew 13:10-16, KJV
"Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch."
Matthew 15:14, KJV
"Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! . . . Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel."
Matthew 23:16, 24, KJV
"And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness [blindness] of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other."
Mark 3:5, KJV
"And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod. And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread. And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened? Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember? When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve. And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven. And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?"
Mark 8:15-21, KJV
"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."
John 9:39-41, KJV
"But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them."
John 12:37-40, KJV
As you can see from the previous set of verses, the Prophet Isaiah was fully aware of the spiritual darkness, deafness and blindness which would envelop the ancient people of Israel. Jesus even quoted from Isaiah's prophetic book. Yet, at the same time, Isaiah likewise saw the day when a "Great Light" would suddenly appear in the land of Israel; and as one of the Lord's seers, he wrote about both of these events quite plainly in verses such as the following:
"Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. 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."
Isaiah 6:8-10, KJV
"And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them."
Isaiah 8:19-20, KJV
"Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God."
Isaiah 50:10, KJV
"For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee."
Isaiah 60:2, KJV
"Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein: I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house."
Isaiah 42:5-7, KJV
"And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth."
Isaiah 49:6, KJV
"The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined."
Isaiah 9:2, KJV
"And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day;"
Isaiah 10:17, KJV
As we all know, Jesus was, and is, that Great Light, of whom the Prophet Isaiah wrote, and of whom John also spoke at the very beginning of his Gospel. Jesus was, and is, the Light of the world, who not only restored sight to the physically blind, but who also restores sight to the spiritually blind as well. He is the Light of the Gentiles, and the Light of all people everywhere, if they'll simply humble themselves, renounce all their false beliefs, and embrace Him. The Lord, and other people in the Scriptures, made this truth quite plain in verses such as the following:
"In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness . . . That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world."
John 1:4-5, 9, KJV
"Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light . . . I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness."
John 12:35-36, 46, KJV
"Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth."
Acts 13:46-47, KJV
"Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles."
Acts 26:22-23, KJV
"Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:"
Psalm 104:2, KJV
"The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended."
Isaiah 60:19-20, KJV
"And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there."
Revelation 21:23-25, KJV
"I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star."
Revelation 22:16, KJV
So Jesus was in fact the Great Light who shone in the midst of darkness; that is, in the midst of the spiritual darkness of His very own Jewish brethren who refused to receive Him as their Messiah. Even though Jesus came not just to restore physical blindness, but more importantly to heal the people of their spiritual blindness and give them spiritual sight, as well as an opportunity to gain true Salvation, sadly, as we have already seen, many of His listeners not only did not understand Him, but they in fact stubbornly rejected Him as their promised Messiah as well. Furthermore, they knowingly chose to remain in spiritual darkness. This becomes evident by verses such as the following:
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,"
Luke 4:18, KJV
"He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not."
Isaiah 53:3, KJV
"The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes."
Psalm 118:22-23, KJV
"Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?"
Matthew 21:42, KJV
"And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again."
Mark 8:31, KJV
"And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner: This was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?"
Mark 12:10-11, KJV
"Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day."
Luke 9:22, KJV
"But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation."
Luke 17:25, KJV
"And the light shineth in darkness; and THE DARKNESS COMPREHENDED IT NOT . . . He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and THE WORLD KNEW HIM NOT. HE CAME UNTO HIS OWN, AND HIS OWN RECEIVED HIM NOT."
John 1:5, 10-11, KJV
"But though he had done so many miracles before them, YET THEY BELIEVED NOT ON HIM:"
John 12:37, KJV
"And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved."
John 3:19-20, KJV
"This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner."
Acts 4:11, KJV
"And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them."
Acts 28:25-27, KJV
"(According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day . . . For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in."
Romans 11:8, 25, KJV
"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
1 Corinthians 2:14, KJV
"But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart."
2 Corinthians 3:14-15, KJV
"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."
2 Corinthians 4:3-4, KJV
"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:"
Ephesians 4:18, KJV
"To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed [that is disapproved, rejected, repudiated] indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed."
1 Peter 2:4-8, KJV
Please go to part three for the conclusion of this series.
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