a Devotion for 7 November 2019 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. 3 When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. 4 For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. 5 I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. 6 For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him. 7 Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah. 8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. 9 Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee. 10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about. 11 Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.
Psalm 32:1-11 (KJV)
There are many different eyes aboard in the earth some of which are not advantageous to our well-being. None wish to be caught in the Eye of the Storm, or in the Night with a Thousand Eyes. The devil also watches with eyes to harm and destroy. – the so-called Evil Eye. We often place ourselves in the center of his vision by walking where we should not, stopping where we are most in danger, listening to the dread voice when we should not, and conversing with the wicked Tempter when we should have remained silent (all of which Eve did at Eden).
But there is another Eye that intends us only good, and that is the Eye of God. When Hagar supposed herself alone in the midst of the Wilderness of Beersheba, there was an Eye beholding her; when Mary Magdalene was lost in remorse and tears at the Garden Tomb, there was an Eye beholding her; and when the two men lamented the events of the crucifixion on the Road to Emmaus, there was an All-Seeing Eye beholding them. In all three such cases, that Eye was the benevolent Eye of the Lord.
The Eye of the Shepherd of sheep is far greater in vision than the short-sighted vision of the sheep; therefore, it is His Eye that leads to green pastures and still waters. He leads them with a vision they cannot know. Not only is His eye keen to see great distances, but His vision is informed of a wisdom far above that of worldly creatures. He KNOWS as He SEES!
There are many today that are far more careful of their speech and behavior inside the doors of the Church but are careless and undisciplined once the Church grounds are behind them. They believe God’s vision is limited to some geographical enclosure. How wrong such thoughts are! The Lord sees in the darkest night just as well in the bright noon-day sun. The darkness is light to Him. “If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.” Psalm 139:11-12 (KJV)
We should not, in fact, attempt to evade the Eye of the Lord because it is our safe haven. Evil cannot overtake where we remain in the favored vision of the Lord. “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.”
2 Chronicles 16:9 (KJV)
King David, though oft a great sinner, remained the Apple of the Eye of the Lord. “Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings, From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about.” Psalm 17:8-9 (KJV) Did you not know that you, too, who believe, are the Apple of God’s Eye? What profound meaning this expression presents as our comfort. There is a part of the eye that reflects those objects in its focus as a mirror – that is the pupil of the eye! When we look intently at the face of a child, a beautiful rose, or a gorgeous sunset, a smaller view of that object is reflected on the pupil of our eye. That object must be the center of focus for this to be true. You, and all believers, are the center of focus of our Lord. He watches, not casually, but intently, every event and move of our lives. So, we are the Apple of God’s Eye just as David was. There is nothing to come between. “Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.” Psalm 33:18-22 (KJV)
What a wondrous thought that the Lord will “guide us with His Eye!” What better Guide can we have? His Eye observes from on High, but also has He placed His eye in our hearts to Guide us in the paths of righteousness for His Namesake. That inner eye is the Holy Spirit guiding, leading, urging, and comforting night and day. “For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings. There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.” Job 34:21-22 (KJV) His Watchers never cease to observe and protect His own.
The eyes of the Lord do not behold the outward man only, but the deeper complexities of the soul of man with X-Ray vision. “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 (KJV) Those matters of the heart which you may think are kept in secret darkness are readily known of God. “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” Proverbs 15:3 (KJV) God sees not only our goodness, but the sins of our hearts as well. “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” 1 Peter 3:12-15 (KJV)
We should not be discomforted at our Father’s watchfulness for it is altogether for our good to keep us from succumbing to the evils of temptations untold. It is good that our fathers and mothers were watchful of us when we were merely toddlers by the wayside. Because they loved us, as does the Lord, they watched to insure we fell into no misfortune.
It is good for us, like Noah, to find “favor in the Eyes of the Lord.”
Remember your kindergarten ditty? “Oh, be careful little eyes what you see!” Yes, they were careful then, but are they careful now when the danger is even greater? Though God sees all, our sight should be restricted from wicked entertainments and vulgar sights. God is not subject to temptation, but we are, indeed.
The greatest means of learning comes, first, through the eye, then through the ear. The sense of sight is overpowering in all that we learn and know. So, guard our eyes, and see with the inner eye with which God has blessed us.
God is watching us – so be glad!