I once had a friend who asked me, “If you were to lose one of your senses which one would you not want to lose?” At first I thought the question was quite strange, but the more I thought about it I realized how important all my senses are to me. To be blind to beauty, deaf to music, mute to saying simple words, or numb to touch would be an unpleasant transition.
I suppose if I could do without a sense it would be smell, but still I would for a lifetime miss the fragrance of spring flowers, my wife’s cooking, the forest after the rain, and countless other aromas. The sense I would least like to lose would be my sight. I suppose I wouldn’t realize how valuable the eye organ is until I didn’t have it.
I have senses because God has senses. God hears, speaks, touches, enjoys sweet smelling aromas, and even sees (Ps. 94:9). Since He is an omnipresent God, He sees everything all the time. Nothing slips by His sight. And just knowing He watches over me can be a most fearful and wonderful thing all together.
God is Always Watching
There was a popular song iby Bet Milter in the 1990’s with the chorus, “God is watching us, from a distance.” I might contest the truth that God is not at watching us from a distance looking as if He were looking upon us through binoculars. But the truth that God is watching can bring an immense amount of safety and security especially in the midst of a world of ruin. His watchful eye reminds us He cares.
God sees all the earth.His eyes rove through the earth (2 Chr. 16:9; Zech. 4:10). He looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything (Job 28:24). There is no place on earth that is forgotten. His eye is on the desert and the jungle mountaintop, as it is on the rural village and densely populated metropolis. His eye is on all the earth at all times.
God sees all people. Job said, “you watcher of men.” (7:20). God’s eyes keep watch on the nations (Ps. 66:7), sees all a man’s steps (Job 34:21); and His eyes are on all their ways (Job 24:23). In Genesis 16, God promises Abraham’s servant Hagar will have a son. She responds by saying, “You are a God of seeing, truly here I have seen Him who looks after me.” She acknowledges He is the God who sees (El-Roi). She is shocked to have seen God and live, and is thankful and amazed that God cares for people in the most unexpected situations (cf. Ps. 139:1–12).
God doesn’t watch His people like an ogre or oppressive supervisor or parent waiting for His child to slip up, “I’m watching you!” When Isaiah was commissioned to speak on behalf of God the people of Judah were under the threat of attack. Within a matter of years Isaiah saw God’s people taken captive by the godless empire Babylon. While in captivity Isaiah encouraged the people to remember that God never relaxes; He is always watching them (40:27). God’s people should never think He has forgotten them even in uncomfortable or insufferable circumstance.
The Eye of God is upon you
An eye can often tell what someone is thinking or feeling. In other words, eyes speak. Eyes can smile, show tears of sorrow, and even glisten with deep concern or love. God’s eye(s) is often an image of His providential care over His people. He guides with His eye (Psalm 32:8) and gives counsel to those under His watch care.
The eyes of the Lord are inescapable. Proverbs 5:21 says, “a man’s ways are before the eyes of the LORD, and He ponders all his paths.” God sees all your wanderings. Some think they can run from God. Whatever you do or wherever you go you cannot escape His sight. Even when you feel as if He were far away His eye is still upon you.
The eyes of the Lord are focused towards His own. While God sees everything that happens on your street or the world at the same time, He pays special attention to His children. 1 Peter 3:12a says, “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are open to their prayer.” If you are His child, He is all eyes and ears. He can pick out of the crowd. He never loses track of His children.
The eyes of the Lord are seeking what is right and good. Deuteronomy 6:18 says, “And you shall do what is right and good in the sight of the LORD, that it may go well with you.” When you read about the kings of Israel they are immediately labeled “did what was right in the eyes of the LORD,” or “did not do what was right in the eyes of the LORD.” The eyes of the Lord are constantly gazing on you and prodding you to move in the direction of what is good.
What about all the evil that God’s sees in the world? The eyes of the Lord do see the evil, wicked, and suffering. Nothing is hidden from God’s sight. He is the only one who can see through to a person’s heart. He has x-ray vision. All are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account (Hebrews 4:13). And as Proverbs 15:3 says, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.”
The eyes of the Lord are gracious towards the righteous person. 2 Chronicles 16:9 says, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward Him.” An example is given in Genesis 6:8 when “Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” This is both a great challenge and promise to live as though you know He’s watching. His watchful eye keeps you on mission.
Most people say they can’t imagine running for President, being a pastor, or holding a position of public leadership because of the kind of scrutiny you and your family receive from critical eyes of the public. And yet, all will face the most perfect, most thorough, most expert scrutiny of all time from God (Hebrews 9:27). We will have to account for every careless word we speak (Matthew 12:36). We may have habits hidden from our fellow man, but not from God.
God sees everything. He will lay everything bare. You will be laid bare.
God’s Son Sees too
What kind of eyes does God have? How does He see? Well, the answer is to simply look at His Son. He was 100% God and 100% man. Jesus, God’s Son, had human eyes. To better understand how God sees look at Jesus.
Jesus saw each of His disciples before they followed Him. He turned and looked at Peter (Luke 22:61; Matt. 4:18); Jesus looked at Simon Peter (John 1:42); He saw Nathanael coming to Him (John 1:47-48). His eyes were upon His own, even before they were upon Him. His eyes passionately pursue followers.
Jesus sees the heart. Jesus saw a man who had been disabled for 38-years and healed him (John 5:6). Often Jesus sees it is their faith that ultimately healed them. He sees the motives of our hearts. He not only sees open hearts, but also sees hard hearts (Mark 3:5).
Jesus saw the crowds and had compassion on them (Matt. 9:36) because they were like wandering sheep without a shepherd. When Jesus saw Jerusalem he wept over it (Luke 19:41) because of its impending destruction and its blindness to His purposes.
Jesus gives a hopeful promise to His followers. Though He would leave, they would see Him again, “You have sorrow now but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice.” (John 16:22) This is hope for all who put their faith in Christ. In response, we are to wait with watchful eyes for His return.
In His redeem act for mankind, Jesus had His eyes fixed upon the will of His Father. Nothing could thwart His vision and eternal focus. And, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)