8 Just as it is written: “God has given them a spirit of stupor, Eyes that they should not see And ears that they should not hear, To this very day.”
Verses eight to ten give biblical support to verse seven. Paul drew on three Old Testament passages to demonstrate the precedent of the hardening of Israel against God’s grace.
8 Just as it is [stands] written:
Paul now referenced Deuteronomy 29:3-4 and Isaiah 29:10 in verse eight. These verses are not direct quotes. These quotations show the consequence of rejection of grace. Scripture also speaks to why some did not accept the grace principle.
“God has given [poured out upon] them a spirit [attitude] of stupor [spiritual coldness],
Hardening involves spiritual “stupor”—deep sleep. The phrase “spirit of stupor” alludes to Isaiah 29:10. The Hebrew word in the quotation for stupor means numbness resulting from a sting. The Greek carries the idea of cause—“a spirit which causes numbness.” Stupor is a deadness toward God’s grace. God rejected Israel corporately, as a nation, because of this. This does not mean He rejected the nation Israel forever.
Israel did not respond to God’s offer of salvation by grace because of their stupor. Their persistent stupor rendered torpor—a state resulting from too much sensation. These people were dulled by their constant rejection of God’s grace.
Ac 7:51, “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.
Eyes that they should not see And ears that they should not hear,
The idea of blindness and deafness alludes to Isaiah 6:9-10. These two phrases are the result of “spirit of stupor.” Israel was under God’s judgment because of their negative attitude toward the Messiah resolving the sin question. Their capacity for apprehension (seeing and hearing) pushed them into a stupefied state whereby they could not perceive divine truth. These people were in a state with no ability to feel or think, sense or understand.
To this very day.”
The majority of Jews in Paul’s day continued with an attitude of negative volition toward the grace principle (vv. 1-6). They were negative right up to the writing of Romans.
Spiritually negative apathy toward grace, if left long enough, develops into an advance stage of stupor toward God and His resources.
The spirit of stupor pervades most people of our day. This stupor produces a deep sleep toward God’s system of salvation. Satan is the source of spiritual dullness:
2 Co 4:3-4, 3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
The real problem for the non-believer is a negative attitude toward the gospel of grace produced by Satan, not a misunderstanding of it. What they need is to open themselves to God’s revelation—“Let light shine out of darkness.” Darkness is a mind shut down to the will of God. God can reach into our dark attitude to shed the light of Christ upon it.
2 co 4:6, For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
God abandons people to their state of hardness. When people go negative toward the grace way of salvation, God leaves them to their choices. He does not initially put people into hardness of heart; rather, they abandon God by their own choices.
2 Co 3:15-16, 15 But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. 16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.