“Now it came to pass, when Isaac was old and his eyes were so dim that he could not see, that he called Esau his older son and said to him, ‘My son.’ And he answered him, ‘Here I am.’ ” (Genesis 27:1).
A cataract is the clouding of the lens in the eye that leads to a decrease in vision. Most cataracts are related to aging and are quite common in older people. It often develops slowly and might include faded colours, blurry vision, halos around light, and trouble seeing at night. This makes it difficult to drive, read, or recognize faces.
Half of all blindness and 33 percent of all visual impairment in the world are due to cataracts. About 20 million people in the world suffer from them. Almost half the people in the United States have had cataracts by the time they reach the age of eighty. The only effective treatment for cataracts is surgery. A cloudy lens can be removed and replaced with an artificial lens.
It is quite possible that old Isaac had cataracts. The Bible says, “his eyes were so dim that he could not see.” His visual disability was what contributed to a deception by his son Jacob. Or was there another type of blindness in the son of Abraham?
Sometimes parents express favouritism toward one child. Such partiality can blind a father or mother to the true character of their son or daughter. A parent can exaggerate the good qualities of one child and the bad qualities of another. It can create quite a family mess, as was the case in Isaac’s home. “Isaac loved Esau” (Genesis 25:28), but his love was blind.
Despite Isaac’s handicaps, God blessed Jacob. It didn’t come about according to the Lord’s plan, and it caused pain in their household. How much better the results when we parent our children with our eyes wide open.
Open my eyes that I may see glimpses of truth You have for me.
For Further Study: Genesis 27:1–4; Psalm 146:8; Romans 2:11