365 Prophecies: Prophecy 163
The Words of the Messiah will make the hearts of the Jews—hard. Therefore, God has blinded their eyes and closed their ears and offered salvation to the Gentiles.
Old Testament Prediction:
Isaiah 6:10 And He said, “Go, and tell this people: ‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ Make the heart of this people dull, And their ears heavy, And shut their eyes; Lest they see with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart, And return and be healed.”
New Testament Fulfillment:
Acts 28:23-29 So when they had appointed him a day, many came to him at his lodging, to whom he explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening. And some were persuaded by the things which were spoken, and some disbelieved. So when they did not agree among themselves, they departed after Paul had said one word: “The Holy Spirit spoke rightly through Isaiah the prophet to our fathers, saying, ‘Go to this people and say: “Hearing you will hear, and shall not understand; And seeing you will see, and not perceive; For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.” ’ Therefore let it be known to you that the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it!” And when he had said these words, the Jews departed and had a great dispute among themselves.
Romans 11:7 What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. Just as it is written: “God has given them a spirit of stupor, Eyes that they should not see And ears that they should not hear, To this very day.” And David says: “Let their table become a snare and a trap, A stumbling block and a recompense to them. Let their eyes be darkened, so that they do not see, And bow down their back always.”
In the book of Acts, as Paul is brought to Rome and is taken into custody, he has the opportunity to speak to some of the leaders among the Jews. A few believed in Jesus by his testimony, but most rejected the Lord. As a result of this great opposition by the Jews, Paul proclaimed the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy, which is the subject of this 163rd prophecy.
“…Hearing you will hear, and shall not understand; And seeing you will see, and not perceive; For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.”
Paul determined that he would cease from his attempts at revealing Jesus to the nation of Israel and turned instead to tell the Gentiles.
The Messiah was first sent to the house of Israel. Isaiah prophesied that they would not hear the words of the one God sent. Therefore, He closed their ears and made their eyes blind to the truth. For two thousand years, the Jews have remained blind to the true identity of their Messiah. At the end of the age, during the seven-year Tribulation, all Israel will have their eyes and their ears opened and receive Jesus as the true Messiah.
It has always been the plan of God to offer salvation to Israel first. Knowing that they would refuse, God turned instead to the Gentile nations and offered salvation to the entire world.
Romans 10:1-3 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.
The zeal that Israel has for God is not according to knowledge. Their searching for the Lord is based upon their own ideas about God and what they want Him to be like. This is a common problem in the world. When people cannot accept who God is, they invent a god that meets their needs. Since people will not turn from their sins to God, they invent a god who will accept or condone their sins. Disdaining the fact that God has chosen one way to heaven, the insubordinate determine that there are other ways to heaven and reject Jesus.
Knowledge must be based on facts
True zeal for God must be based on a correct knowledge of who God is, as He has revealed Himself in the Bible. The only way that any person can ever know the true and living God is through His own revelation of Himself. What men think of God or how they wish to perceive Him—is irrelevant. Those who will know God as He is, must be willing to accept what He says of Himself. The Bible claims to be God’s revelation of Himself and the only true account of who He is and what He requires of all human beings. A person can believe whatever they want to believe—but if they are sincerely searching for truth, they must believe what God says and disregard the foolish ideas that men have about God.
The message of salvation that God brought to Israel in the fulness of time was met with unbelief. Isaiah predicted that the Messiah’s message would not be believed. The past 2,000 years have confirmed this prophecy for the nation of Israel. To this very day, the majority of Jews, all over the earth, still do not believe that Jesus is their Messiah.
See also the chapter in this book: A Message to our dear Jewish friends,”and Prophecy 160.