SEEING WITH OUR FATHER’S EYES
Even a little glimpse of Him however gotten shows us how admirable God is. In the same breath that we see His awesome goodness and perfection, we are reminded of how much less we have of these attributes. This is how God puts it in the Bible:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9
With this understanding, I want us to consider how God sees people and situations in order to contrast it with how we do.
Drawing from some verses of the Bible, we shall attempt to answer to a certain extent the question, “What Does God See?” To bring home the relevance of this question to our own perspective, we could frame it this way: “If we had God’s eyes, what would we see? And how would we react?”
This question was first raised in my heart after I listened to Amy Grant’s song, “Father’s Eyes” written by Gary Winthur Chapman. If indeed we are God’s children, shouldn’t we have His eyes, His view on things? We certainly should!
My prayer is that through this devotion, God will help us to see and respond to people and issues as He does in Jesus’ name.
(Related Post: On Father’s Eyes by Amy Grant – with video of her performing it)
What Does God See?
1. I have seen your faith – strength, encouragement, solution
There’s too much unbelief in the world today. Or rather there is too much belief in the wrong things. People put their confidence in money, in their looks, education, family connections, romance and so on. These things, though good, cannot save anyone. Only God can. That is why He seeks to plant faith in people’s hearts through the gospel. We should be part of that mission.
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” – Mark 16:15
God honours belief in Him and His abilities. He is moved by faith to attend to the needs of His people. He pours grace upon the faithful to withstand life’s challenges. He speaks to them in their trials to uphold them and deliver them if He chooses to. Remember the confession of the three Hebrew children to King Nebuchadnezzar when he threatened to throw them into a furnace for not renouncing their faith in God.
“… our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” – Daniel 3:17-18
True faith abides with or without immediate reward. We should understand that and not despise those who don’t seem to have visible evidence of God’s acknowledgement of their faith. Everyone’s path is not the same. Isaiah the prophet walked in the corridors of power but John the Baptist lived in the wilderness according to God’s mandate to each of them.
Therefore, we should celebrate and strengthen faith wherever we see it. When the Jews opposed Paul’s message in Corinth, this is what the Lord did and we should do likewise.
“Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city. And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.” – Acts 18:9-11
(Related Post: What Do You Have To Show For Following Christ by Davidson Arinze)
2. I have seen your oppression by your taskmasters – advocate for and strengthen
“And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.” – Exodus 3:7 & 10
Seeing with God’s eyes will help us identify injustice, oppression and such like and attempt to correct them. We can never side with the oppressor for our selfish gains, nor would we be indifferent because we are not directly affected. We would offer succour and strength where it is needed.
This does not, however, mean that we should pick fights at will in the name of championing the cause of the downtrodden. It was not the day the Israelites began to suffer that God spoke about it and decided to send Moses. Timing is everything if we want to carry out our fights God’s way. We must seek His leading for the right words to speak, the right actions to take and when.
3. I have seen your labour of love – commendation and reward
“I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou … hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.” – Revelation 2:2-3
“I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience. …” – Revelation 2:19
“For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” – Hebrews 6:10
God appreciates service and rewards it. He is not a hard taskmaster as the Egyptians in the Bible were (Exodus 1:8-14). We see this in the scriptural account of many heroes of faith, including the patriarchs – Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In Genesis 15:1, God told Abraham, “Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” Newer translations say the latter part means, “your reward shall be very great” and indeed it was! After a very long wait, God gave Abraham the long-expected seed, prospered him and in time multiplied his descendants as “the dust of the earth” just as He had promised (Genesis 13:16).
In the case of David, God commended his faithfulness in shepherding his people, Israel, and built him an enduring dynasty. He perpetually chose David’s family to rule such that the Christ was born through his line.
“… David did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.” – 1 Kings 15:5
“He (God )raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. Of this man’s seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus” – Acts 13:22-23 (word in brackets, mine)
We should be generous with praise and reward as God is. We should never be found among those who withhold what is due to others.
“Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.” – James 5:4
4. I have seen your tears – solution, comfort and encouragement
Hezekiah was a king of Judah who loved God, but in the prime of his life, a terminal sickness befell him. He prayed and cried unto God and He sent back Isaiah the prophet to him with a message:
“Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the Lord.” – 2 Kings 20:5
God had just told Hezekiah through the prophet Isaiah that he would die from his ailment, but moved by his tears, He healed him and extended his life by 15 years (v. 16). God is soft-hearted like that. David who was often in peril for much of his adult life (from Saul’s pursuit and the wars he fought) saw God pull him out of the jaws of death repeatedly when he cried out to him. He also erred occasionally and saw God graciously forgive him as he lay in tears. And so he reminds us that:
“The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles” (Psalm 34:17).
We should be humane, we should reconsider if we give a sentence and people implore us. We can be the voice of God to believers in distress, saluting their faith and courage while the world is mocking. We can speak words of comfort and encouragement to others who weep because of the knocks they have received in life. We should also support them in prayer. We should never join the unruly crowd that belittles and ridicules human misfortune. And when God leads us to, we can be His extended hand to bring the afflicted relief. This is part of the reason the Bible calls us God’s fellow workers (1 Corinthians 3:9).
(Related Post: What Can I Do For You Today by Cindi Ruiz)
5. I have seen your misconduct – warning for a while, then judgment
God is a righteous God. He does not condone wrongdoing.
“Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity” – Habakkuk 1:13.
Much of the Old Testament is about God sending His servants, the prophets, to warn His people to desist from their wrongdoing to prevent punishment by Him. God expects us to do the same.
“So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.” – Ezekiel 33:7
Today’s religion that promises freedom without responsibility, licence in the name of grace – with no accountability required, is certainly not from God.
“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” – Romans 6:14-15
(Related Post: Myself, the Judge [A Balanced Interpretation of “Judge Not”])
We should, therefore, require good conduct of ourselves and our brethren in the faith. We should sound the alarm when evil is overtaking the church and we should seek restoration for those who repent. Everything should, however, be done in humility and love, knowing that we too are fallible.
Let me emphasise that those who preach unconditional love without any judgment of sin at all are removing a necessary safeguard from believers. It certainly is not how the early church was run.
“But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.” – 1 Corinthians 11:32
There is a precedence in I Corinthians, chapter 5 of warnings aginst sin in the church. And judgment when the offender proves recalcitrant.
“For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.” – 1 Corinthians 5:12-13
Our God is good and all-knowing. His assessments of people and situations, His reactions to events and His overall disposition always leave us in awe. The points outlined as what God sees are various expressions of His love. When we see through His eyes, we’ll be able to live out the command of the Lord Jesus to love one another as He has loved us (John 15:12).
The scriptures used in this post are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible except where otherwise stated.
Seeing with God’s eyes comes more easily when He becomes our Father. This happens when we become born again or surrender our lives to the Lord Jesus (John 1:12).
If you would like to accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, you may pray this short prayer:
PRAYER FOR SALVATION
Almighty God, I repent of my sins and ask You to forgive me. I receive the work Jesus did for me by shedding His blood for my sins. Write my name in the Lamb’s Book of Life and send your Spirit to live in my heart and teach me your word. I receive the grace to live a life that honours you henceforth in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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