“Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.” (Psalm 119:37, ESV)
Have you ever been drawn in by a fancy ad and suddenly you want that! Advertisers realize how often we want what we see. That’s why a few months ago a company willingly paid an exorbitant $5.5 million for a 30-second Super Bowl commercial. Our eyes are the entry point for their sales pitch. When I stroll through the mall, relaxing more than shopping, somehow those red SALE signs invariably catch my eye. Suddenly I need to shop. What my eye sees sparks desire, and I’m soon walking into the store.
Job understood the relationship between what our eyes see and the things we desire. In chapter 31, he speaks of his moral integrity toward women. “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman” (NLT).
We might use the words covenant and contract interchangeably, but there is a distinction. A contract is a legally binding agreement, but a covenant is a promise or pledge between two parties that is a spiritual agreement. A contract can be broken, but a covenant is based on a perpetual promise. This relationship of commitment is based on trust and integrity. Job made a spiritual agreement to control what he saw.
Look at what Job says in verse 7: “If my step has turned from the way, or my heart walked after my eyes.” His words create a visual image—our heart walking after our eyes. By guarding what he saw, Job kept his heart from going the wrong way. In doing so, he preserved his integrity.
First John 2:16 speaks of the three types of sins. “For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world” (NKJV). The eye gate allows Satan to lure us into sin. He entices us to reach for the things we see.
- It was when Eve “saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes” that she ate the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:6).
- David’s sin with Bathsheba began when “from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon” (II Samuel 11:2).
- Achan saw the Babylonian garment, the silver, and the gold, and “then I coveted them” (Joshua 7:21).
Jesus spoke about the eye gate in the Sermon on the Mount:
“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Matthew 6:22-23, ESV)
The world offers so many opportunities for harmful things to slip through our eye and into our heart. Unless we are careful, media can lead us down paths we never expected to go. Pornography, adultery, covetousness, and other sins begin when “our heart walks after our eyes.”
It is time to commit that, “I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless” (Psalm 101:3, ESV).
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
(“Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” by Helen H. Lemmel)