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The Eyes of the Lord

Asa did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as his father David had done. 1 Kings 15:11.

Asa was something of an exception. Most of David’s successors “did evil in the eyes of the Lord” (1 Kings 15:26, 34; 16.7, 19, 25 etc) as Israel had persistently done in the time of the judges (Judges 2:11, 3.7, 12; 4.1, 6.1 etc). And the first thing that strikes me about these and a host of other references in the Old Testament is that God was watching Israel and Israel knew that God was watching them. Their understanding is summed up in Psalm 11:4 “The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD is on his heavenly throne. He observes the sons of men; his eyes examine them.” No Epicurean God this — aloof, uninterested in the affairs of men — but one that was, perhaps, too interested?

When I was a member of the Plymouth Brethren in my teens, there was a framed message on the wall in every Brethren home which read: “Christ is the head of this house, the unseen guest at every meal, the silent listener to every conversation.” Many a Brethren home also had another framed message reading, simply: “Thou, Lord, seest me.” I have to say that in those days I found the thought rather unnerving — that, like in Orwell’s 1984, Big Brother was watching me and there was no escape from his constant surveillance. Everywhere was bugged.

I have to say that I know better now. The God of the Closed Brethren was a judging, condemning God who was out to get me if I did “what was evil in his sight” (like reading a novel or watching TV or finding girls attractive) whereas I now know that he watches only to bless and protect and rescue: “But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine” (Psalm 33:18-19). Indeed, I now know that the eyes of the Lord are the eyes of Jesus who, time and time again in the Gospels, “sees” and “has compassion” and then reaches out in healing and deliverance and forgiveness.

O the deep, deep love of Jesus!
Spread His praise from shore to shore,
How He loveth, ever loveth,
Changeth never, nevermore;
How He watches o’er His loved ones,
Died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth,
Watches over them from the throne.

Lord Jesus, I am glad you see me. Help me to do what is right in your sight, this day and every day. Amen.

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