29:9 Pause and wonder!
Blind yourselves and be blind!
They are drunk, but not with wine;
They stagger, but not with intoxicating drink.
10 For the Lord has poured out on you
The spirit of deep sleep,
And has closed your eyes, namely, the prophets;
And He has covered your heads, namely, the seers.
11 The whole vision has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one who is literate, saying, “Read this, please.”
And he says, “I cannot, for it is sealed.”
12 Then the book is delivered to one who is illiterate, saying, “Read this, please.”
And he says, “I am not literate.”
13 Therefore the Lord said:
“Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths
And honor Me with their lips,
But have removed their hearts far from Me,
And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men,
14 Therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work
Among this people,
A marvelous work and a wonder;
For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish,
And the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden.”
15 Woe to those who seek deep to hide their counsel far from theLord,
And their works are in the dark;
They say, “Who sees us?” and, “Who knows us?”
16 Surely you have things turned around!
Shall the potter be esteemed as the clay;
For shall the thing made say of him who made it,
“He did not make me”?
Or shall the thing formed say of him who formed it,
“He has no understanding”?
I appreciate this chapter not because it's a good news chapter or a feel good chapter, but because it opens a window into how God relates to us. Taken at face value it seems like God has caused what is wrong with us. He made us fall into a deep sleep. He made us blind. But did He?
Follow the chapter through and it becomes obvious what was going on. The people were in rebellion so God withdrew. Think about it. Let's say you were wealthy and you saw a need for orphanages in multiple places all over the world. So you built them and hired people to run them and care for the children. Later on you began getting reports that things weren't going well and you started to investigate. You discovered it wasn't a bad apple here or there but the entire system was corrupt. The managers and overseers of your orphanages were creating abusive and oppressive rules that made the lives of the children miserable. They would have been better off on their own than under such "care". Now tell me something. What would you do? Would you keep funding their activities? Would you subsidize the evil? Would you pretend you didn't see? Of course not!
Is God less just or less wise than we are? Not a chance. So He withdrew His blessings. No more Word from Him. His Spirit did not strive with them any longer. He was about to step back, withdraw His protection, and they would lose all power, position, and influence. In simpler terms He was about to hit the reset button on Judah, not because He was evil or mean or unloving. Quite the opposite. It would have been evil, mean, and unloving to permit things to continue on unchecked.
Now think about our culture today. Where are we and where are we trending? Do the strong defend the weak or exploit them? Where do all our clothes come from and how are they so inexpensive? Does the creation say to the Creator "You didn't create us"?
If God were to grade the haves of this world based on how we treat the have nots, what grade would we receive? Will a God of love allow the trends to continue in the wrong direction unchecked?
Why would He speak to prophets or pastors who abuse their position for gain? Think about it. God is not cruel. He is defending the cause of the fatherless and the widow.