European astronomers recently revealed stunning photographs of a magnificent ball of gas and dust 700 light years away in outer space. Some scientists said it looked like a gigantic blue eye, so they called it “the eye of God.” In spite of the tendency to dismiss God from public life, people still can’t escape the idea of a Higher Power – a vastly intelligent being separate from our universe. The nickname given to this stellar object was probably intended to be amusing. It reflects the tendency of people to casually refer to God, sometimes softening His image with trivializing phrases like “the Man Upstairs.” Their lighthearted references to all things divine betrays their deepseated fear that perhaps there really is an all-seeing God.
In fact, the Bible teaches that God is all-knowing and that He will one day hold humans accountable for what they say, think and do. While this truth is a terror to the wicked, it’s a comfort to those who know Christ as Lord and Savior.
In order to explain Himself to mankind, God uses bodily descriptions of Himself, even though He is spirit (Jn. 4:24). For example, the Bible repeatedly speaks of His “eyes.” Deuteronomy 11:12 tells us of His unique relationship with Israel, saying, “the eyes of the LORD your God are always on it, from the beginning … to the very end of the year.” Elsewhere we read that assaulting Israel is like poking the Lord in “the apple of His eye,” or the pupil as it is poetically called (Zech. 2:8 NKJV). Similarly, Solomon asked the Almighty to keep His eye on the temple and on Jerusalem (2 Chr. 6:12-42). Many verses (1 Ki. 9:3; 2 Ki. 19:16) use this imagery to teach that God sees what happens.
Unbelievers dread the all-seeing gaze of the Almighty because it reminds them of their accountability to “the Judge of all the earth” (Gen. 18:25). As John 3:19- 21 puts it: “This is the condemnation, that light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
Instinctively, people do not want their actions held up to the infallible view of the Light. Within their innermost being they realize this: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Therefore, they unsuccessfully attempt to hide from the eye of the God who knows everything. Needless to say, the lost will one day stand before the Great White Throne of judgment, where they will discover that everything they ever did was seen by God.
On the other side of things, believers may take comfort in the fact that God sees them and knows their trials and difficulties. Psalm 33:18-19 puts it this way: “The eye of the LORD is on those that fear Him, on those that hope in His mercy, to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.” And Psalm 34:15 offers a similar statement: “The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry.” These verses and others remind Christians of the perfect knowledge that God possesses and how He uses it to act on their behalf.
These days, believers around the world are facing discrimination, oppression, and persecution. The Lord is aware of each attack upon His people. He knows their hardships and the enemies who perpetrate them. What is more, He’s working to bring about each saint’s eternal blessing by using these problems to develop the character of Christ in their inner being. None of these difficulties will ever separate believers from God’s limitless love (Rom. 8:28- 39). Instead, He will bring them through these trials to eternal glory with Him, conformed to the image of His altogether lovely Son (Rom. 8:29-30; 1 Jn. 3:1-3).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Keith Keyser was raised in a Christian home and saved by faith in Christ at age seven. Employed for years in a car rental firm, in 1999 God led Keith to full-time itinerant Bible teaching. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and two young daughters.
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org