“But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.” (2 Peter 1:9, AV)
Some people have a problem with their eyes. At one time I had better than 20-20 vision. Unfortunately, as I grew older, my vision has changed. I first noticed the problem when I was reading the Bible with a group of Gideons at a Friday morning breakfast. One of them stated that I needed to get longer arms. I just had a difficult time seeing things close-up. Nearsighted people have the opposite problem. They cannot see things that are far away. It is a type of blindness that can be quite debilitating and most people today will get corrective lenses to correct the problem.
There is a type of vision problem in the spiritual realm also. Peter speaks of this spiritual vision problem. He referred to those who lacked the Christlike qualities of virtue, knowledge, self-control, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love (that is agape). Their vision problem speaks of their spiritual lives.
The overall issue is spiritual blindness. The Scriptures indicate that Satan has “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 4:4, AV). There is a type of blindness that prevents people from receiving the message of the gospel. These are the lost souls of the world.
Peter also mentioned that those with a spiritual vision problem “cannot see afar off.” They are nearsighted. In the spiritual dimension, people with this problem cannot see things that are far from them, either in the future or in the past. They can only see the immediate. Peter indicated that they are so nearsighted that they fail to see the past things from which Christ has offered forgiveness. This spiritual issue can hinder people from true salvation because they refuse to consider their past sins. They think that they truly are not that bad. For those who may have believed in Christ, they forget the depth from which Christ has rescued them and thus become ungrateful and irreverent.
Yet another problem of nearsightedness is the inability to comprehend the glory of heaven and the infinite holiness of God. People will seldom see the problem of sin in their own lives and the problem of the sin all around them apart from a revelation of God who is light without any hint of darkness at all (1 John 1:5). Since they cannot spiritually comprehend that God is infinitely holy and that they are not, they will fail to properly view sin and how infinitely short they fall from the glory of God. Thus, they will fail to pursue holiness and feel comfortable with sin. This too is a grave problem that will keep some from salvation and others from growth in righteousness.
What is needed for those with spiritual blindness and nearsightedness? There needs to be an eye examination and some corrective measures for until one can see, this person will be deficient in their spiritual life.
(More on this thought in the next devotion.)