“And the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who spoke to David, saying, "You shall not come in here; but the blind and the lame will repel you," thinking, "David cannot come in here.” Nevertheless David took the stronghold of Zion (that is, the City of David). Now David said on that day, "Whoever climbs up by way of the water shaft and defeats the Jebusites (the lame and the blind, who are hated by David's soul), he shall be chief and captain." Therefore they say, "The blind and the lame shall not come into the house.” 2Sam 5,6-8
The Jebusites knew that the blind and the lame were so limited and dependent on others that they would have no meaningful role in a war, neither offensive nor defensive. If David could not overtake them, he would have been weaker than them and totally unable to enter the gates of Jerusalem. Maybe the Jebusites intentionally placed blind and lame people on the walls to ridicule David and humiliate him publicly.
Maybe they consider themselves as a military power mighty and David as a political and strategic novice. In that context handicapped people would be an equal match for him and his men.
Maybe they thought that their fortifications were so impregnable that even blind and lame were sufficient to defend them.
Already as a shepherd boy David was able to pick up issues in the heart of God. Like Abraham, like Moses, like Joshua and Caleb. the bible says simply that David heard him.
Hearing and seeing are identical when it comes to the issues of the Spirit.
One response was:
“And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were dreadfully afraid. So the men of Israel said, "Have you seen this man who has come up?” 1Sam 17,24
And after an intense conversation between David and his brothers, he said:
“And David said, Is there not a cause?” 1Sam 17,29
Saul, his armies including Jesse’s sons were blinded by what they saw and paralyzed by what they heard. Therefore they remained silent and passive in the valley of Elah. There was no royalty left in the king, no power left in his armies, no purpose in their skills.
David heard the same words but he saw something else, and he moved forward.
The blind and the lame…
Again and again in the three years of the public work of Jesus these two categories of people are mentioned: The blind and the lame. The most significant of these narratives is the following:
“Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He said to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but you have made it a 'den of thieves.'“ Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" they were indignant and said to Him, "Do You hear what these are saying?" And Jesus said to them, "Yes. Have you never read, 'Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’?" Then He left them and went out of the city to Bethany, and He lodged there.” Matt 21,12-17
The blind is the person who doesn’t have or has lost the ability to see. And the absence of sight will make their desires unreachable and their skills purposeless.
As Jesus intervened in this situation a certain crowd left the temple and an other crowd entered it. When the spiritually blind and lame left, the physically blind and lame came in. He threw out the first and welcomed the second. He restored sight, he gave mobility and paid attention to the next generation.
Jesus saw clearly what took place in the heart of the nation, both in the streets of its capital and in the court of the temple.
Jesus moved and judged the situation and its different actors (merchants, priests and children).
Basically Jesus took responsibility.
King Saul was blind and lame at one of the most critical moments of the history of Israel. But that was not the worst issue. Irresponsibility was. Not only he was blinded by the size and strength of the giant, not only he was paralyzed by his repeated statements. He let go of his royal responsibility.
David understood that there was a cause and he stood up for it. Even when the curses of Goliath were sent against him as arrows of hellish fire.
The king backed off embarassingly.
First Saul sent for David.
Then he played spiritual: “Saul said to David, "Go, and the Lord be with you!”
Finally Saul left the scene: “Saul clothed David with his armor.”
Why was this important for them?
Because the core-issue is neither Saul, Goliath or even the young, ruddy and good-looking’ David. National destiny and a global prototype are at stake.
Why is this important for us?
For two reasons:
(1) Because God’s people have developed a chronic blindness, paralysis leading to spiritual irresponsibility. We have to see, and we have to move in judgment. This is the Jesus-way to articulate it:
“Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch … Then great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus' feet, and He healed them. So the multitude marveled when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel.” Matt 15,14,30-31
(2) Because it’s the Father’s will to restore our sight, heal our paralysis so we can again take responsibility:
“Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the ends of the earth, among them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and the one who labors with child, together; A great throng shall return there.” Jer 31,8
That’s the three-fold focus of the Father: The blind, the lame and responsibility for the legacy.
See clearly... be prophetic and apostolic.
Move forward... be brave and consistent.
Take responsibility... look after the legacy for your next generations.
God can heal the blind.
God can heal the lame.
But God cannot heal the irresponsible.