Isaiah 42:16: “I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not, I will lead them in paths that they have not known.”
“Adversity is the first path to truth.” Lord Byron
Commentators have covered every base as to who the blind are. Some say it is Gentiles, some say Israel, others say it is the poor or the unenlightened. I think I must fit in there somewhere as I am totally blind as to the path this study is taking me to.
Having decided that God has led me to this passage to make a personal application, I am wondering what the difference between a way and path is. He will bring me to a way I do not know and lead me in paths I do not know.
The word for bring is yalak which is used here in a Hiphal perfect form. So it is literally rendered: “I have caused the blind to go in a path that they do not know.” The word know is yada which expresses an intimacy. The word for way is derek which means a path a journey, a going down. So God is going to cause us to go down on a journey that we are not intimate with.
He will also lead us in paths that I am not intimate with. Now here is the twist, the word lead is the same word used for way which is derek. God is saying that this downward path (derek) will bring us to a path that we do not know or are intimate with. The word path here is very fitting. It is the word natav which means a path but an upward path. In its Semitic root is has the idea of being raised up. In a sense what God is saying is that I will cause the blind to go down and by this going down they will be raised up.
Well, I am sitting here at my desk pondering this. I mean I can sure relate. I know I should go to bed and get some sleep, I am very tired and I keep dozing off. However, I plan to stay with this until I understand just how the Holy Spirit is relating this verse to me personally. It seems like God is taking me down into a way, a derek, that I have not known.
I suddenly look up and low and behold there is Derek walking across my desk. It is spelled Daleth, Resh and Kap. They look like triplets but with only a slight difference as they walk across my desk. The Daleth looks like a seven but with a 90 degree angle. Following closely behind is the next letter, the Resh which looks like the Daleth only the 90 degree angle is rounded and not squared. Behind the Resh is the Final Kap which looks like the Daleth only it has a longer tail. They all appear bent over as if they are carrying a heavy weight. I asked Derek why are they all bent over, what is this weight they carry?
Daleth answers that it is their downward journey that has weighted them down. I remember reading in Jewish literature that the Daleth appears to be bent over like a poor man begging for bread. I ask Daleth what is weighting him down and he says it is his financial burden that he carries. I notice the Resh is also bent over and I ask Resh what load he is carrying. He says he too bears a burden of poverty but as the sages teach, his poverty is a spiritual poverty. I then look at Kap which is also bent over carrying a load. I ask what his load is and he says that he is a final Kap which represents a connection between earth and heaven. He is bearing the load of Daleth and Resh trying to make the connection between heaven and earth. I tell Derek that I too carry a similar burden and I am also seeking to make a connection between heaven and earth with this burden. Kap said that once the connection between heaven and earth is establish Derek will take on an alternative meaning. I ask what that meaning is and Derek suggest I follow them to my Daleth and pass with them through my Look Glass. As Derek and I pass through my Looking Glass I can see smiles come across the faces of Daleth, Resh and Final Kap. Daleth then says that the transformation is taking place. Kap has made his connection with heaven and now the Daleth has become a door into the transformed Resh which represents a new beginning of health and wholeness.
“But” I say, “You are all still bent over with the weight of the poverty that you carry.” Daleth admitted as much, but was quick to add that this journey is directed by the Spirit of God and although it may be filled with poverty, it is leading to meet Natav (a new path) which is the raised up path. Derek tells me that once we meet ups with Natav (a new path) they will turn me over to his care. As I journey with Derek, I find that this road we travel is a very difficult road filled with ruts, holes and downed trees. In a sad voice Daleth tells me that these are his burdens of unpaid bills, unemployment and medical expense etc. I turn to Resh for some spiritual comfort but Resh too is very sad, for he is filled with spiritual poverty, seeming unanswered prayers, questioning God‘s will, and pat answers like “trust God,” “Pray about it.” or “It is always darkest before the dawn” (I don‘t think that is in the Bible). I look at Kap and I find hope as he grins and gives me a thumbs up saying; “Stay in there sport, we are still connected to heaven, just keep going.”
Finally, in the distance there I see Natav (a new path going up). They are stacked on top of each other‘s shoulders forming a tower and a lookout. I see Nun on top of the Taw who is on top of the Beth. Nun who is on top of the others is the lookout and he is waving vigorously and shouting out to me; “I represent faith. Keep believing, keep trusting God you will make it.” I can barely see the Taw who is holding Nun up. I cannot hear what Taw is saying but I know the Taw represents the truth of God and His promises. I remember Jesus said that He is the Way and the Truth and the Life, no man comes to the father except through him. John 14:6. Derek turns to be and says: “Just keep your faith in us, The Way, and we will lead you to the Taw (truth) where you will find life.” I said, “Yes, I am beginning to understand, Jesus is this Way (Derek) and that if I keep trusting in Him he will lead to Natav (the raised up path). But what about that last letter in Natav, the Beth? Why it is that the Beth is holding the Taw and Nun up.”
Suddenly I find myself back in my office, I am holding Derek in the palm of my hand and he whispers to me: “The Beth in Natav (the raised up path) which represents blessings. Stay with us” says Derek, We will lead you to Natav were you will find your blessings resting just below Nun (faith) and Taw (truth) but for now keep your eye on Natav (the raised up path), don’t lose sight of them for they will be your path to blessing. I looked out my window at the Chicago skyline and I see the Willis Tower, one of the largest buildings in the world, only it looks like Natav (the raised up path) waiting for me. Nun is there waving his banner of faith, Taw (truth) is hold Nun (faith) up and both are pointing to Beth (blessings) who is holding both of them up and all are mouthing the words: “Blessing.”
As I fall asleep at my desk I ponder my journey and realize that I am like a blind man who is being led by Derek. I do not know what I will face on their path but I know they are leading me to Natav (the raised up path). I do not know what blessings the Beth has waiting for me when I reach Natav, but if the Holy Spirit is behind this journey, then I will continue to follow Derek.
As Lord Byron said: “Adversity is the first path to truth.” Or as I have learned from Isaiah 42:16: Derek (the way) is the first path to Natav (the path to blessing).