"Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but fear your God. I am the Lord." —Leviticus 19:14
What a strange thing for God to say, “Do not curse the deaf.” Even if you did bad-mouth a deaf person, he wouldn’t be able to hear you. After all, a deaf person can’t hear! And if you placed a stumbling block in front of a blind person, he wouldn’t be able to see you do it, right? What’s God saying here?
First, he is saying that he takes the side of the poor, the lame, and those who are deaf or blind. He is the guardian and protector of those who are weak and infirmed. God takes the position of their advocate, which literally means to “give voice to those who have no voice.” But is there a broader application of Leviticus 19:14?
Yes, there is: God wants you to grasp the fact that he hears your hurtful comments, even though others are out of earshot. God sees your mischievous behavior, even though others can’t observe what you’re doing. God says in Numbers 32:23 that “… you will be sinning against the Lord; and you may be sure that your sin will find you out.” Though the people you are plotting against or gossiping about may not be aware of your malice, God is aware. It’s why he says in today’s verse, “Fear God. I am the Lord.”
Find a way you can take the side of the poor, the elderly, or the disabled today. Several couples at my church take turns on Sunday mornings to drive to a local assisted living center to pick up Mr. and Mrs. Hill, an elderly couple who are separated from their family. These friends from my church are true advocates… they are true friends of God.
Lord Jesus, keep me from harmful conduct this day… and help me to reach out to those who are poor or disabled. I want to join you in serving as a guardian and protector of those in need.