Deuteronomy 29:4 “But to this day the LORD has not given you a mind that understands or eyes that see or ears that hear.”
While giving them instructions on the blessings and curses that come from obedience/disobedience of God’s commands, Moses explained to the people who from the time of Joseph until then, God had not given the people a heart of understanding. They couldn’t discern the things of God because of their being a stiff-necked people, stubborn in other words. Now that they were going to enter into their inheritance, God would open their eyes and ears of their hearts and be their God. However, in the future they would still be known as a people with ears never hearing and eyes never seeing (see Isaiah).
When Jesus taught in Jerusalem and addressed the Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes, He told them that Isaiah had well said of Israel that they would be forever hearing and seeing God but never understanding because of their hard hearts. The Hebrews/Jews were so wrapped up in their nationalism and adherence to keeping the minute points/details of the Law that they missed out on the relationship that God wanted with them. They continually rejected Him and served other gods in idolatry.
Thus, God dulled their spirits, cast them out of His presence, and turned to the Gentiles, who would be grateful for His grace and love and salvation. To this day, the Jews still harden their hearts toward God because of Jesus, as the suffering Servant. They still await the day of Messiah to come on a white horse to defeat their enemies for all time. They don’t see the need for the blood of the cross. This happens in part because God still has blinded them to the truth of their Savior until the end of time. Some Jews have come to Christ as their Savior, but the majority have not.
This idea leads us to two conclusions: (1) Jews are not exempt from the requirement of accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior and (2) we have to think of how many Jews have been died and gone to hell to purchase the lives of us, Gentiles. Because Jews refused to accept God as their King and worship Him alone, they were cast out of His presence for decades. He reunited the Jews (not the upper kingdom) after 70 years, but things went silent for 400 years after the death of Malachi, the last Hebrew prophet until John the Baptist.
Then, Jesus came on the scene and arrived as our Messiah. The Bible prophesied that His people would not receive Him. Because the Jews continued to refuse to accept Christ as the Word of the Gospel spread, God turned many apostles toward the Gentiles, especially Paul. Count your blessings that God had planned all this to save us even though thousands and millions of Jews lost their lives in the process for your salvation.
Father, it makes me shudder to think that millions of people, of Your chosen people, died to make way for me to come to the cross. Had they not rejected You, I would never have known, possibly, Your love and grace. Please accept my offering of tears for those who spend eternity in hell for the cost of my salvation. YES, Jesus paid the price to redeem me from my sins, for that I am eternally grateful and will never make 2nd priority. However, I am saddened that olive branches had to be cut off, bundled, and cast into the fire because of their fruitlessness, which allowed me to be grafted into the olive tree although I was a wild branch. Thank You for loving me, a Gentile as well as Your chosen. In Jesus’ name, Amen.