If you went to Sunday school as a kid you may be familiar with this song.
“Oh, be careful little eyes what you see. Oh, be careful little eyes what you see. For the Father up above is looking down in love, so be careful little eyes what you see.”
There are also verses that deal with our ears, mouth and feet too, which are other members of our body that can get us into trouble. While this is considered a fun kiddie song, there really is a lot of truth to it. I’ve been thinking lately about how easily influenced we can be by the things we see. Advertisers know it all too well, and we are bombarded daily with a host of images through television (if you happen to own one –we don’t have one, and I don’t miss it at all) the Internet, magazines and billboards. I wonder if people are influenced to sin more through sight than any of their other senses. Sight definitely played a part in the first sin in the Garden of Eden.
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
3:2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3:3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
I know that Eve was deceived by the serpent, and what he said to her not only got her looking at the tree, which God commanded her and Adam not to partake of, but thinking about how good it would be to partake of it. Looking at forbidden things can definitely lead to lusting, and this is played out in several instances in Scripture.
Consider the case of Achan recorded in the book of Joshua.
Joshua 7:1 But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel.
Achan partook of something that God said was accursed, and as we read of his story, we can see the steps to his downfall.
Joshua 7:19 And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me.
7:20 And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done:
7:21 When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.
Achan first looked upon the accursed thing. (the city and everything in it was accursed according to ch. 6:17,18) Next he coveted the things that he saw. Desire for those things began to take hold of his heart. Then he took them, and finally we see that he hid them in the earth.
This seems to be a pattern when it comes to sin involving the lust of the eyes. In Eve’s case she looked upon the fruit, desired it, took it, gave some to her husband, and then they both tried to hide from God. This scenario even played out in the life of David, king of Israel, writer of many of the psalms and a man whom the Bible calls “a man after God’s own heart.”(Acts 13:21,22)
2Samuel 11:1 And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.
11:2 And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.
11:3 And David sent and inquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bath-sheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?
11:4 And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house.
As we read on in this chapter we learn that Bath-sheba became pregnant from this encounter. David tried to “hide” what he had done by getting Bath-sheba’s husband Uriah to come home from battle and spend some time with his wife, so it would appear that she was with child by her own husband. When this didn’t work, David gave orders to put Uriah in the forefront of the battle so he would be killed. Unfortunately, this plan worked, and now that Uriah was dead, David could take Bath-sheba as his wife, and his sin would be “hidden.” It wasn’t hidden from the eyes of God. God in His mercy sent the prophet Nathan to David to confront him concerning his sin. David made the right choice and repented. Psalm 51(one of my favorites) is the record of his repentance
Even the most spiritual person can fall prey to temptation. None of us are immune to it, but I believe we can be less likely to be tempted in this fashion if we consider the things we allow ourselves to view. If looking is the first step in sinning through the lust of the eyes, then should we not carefully consider the things we allow ourselves to see? Do we look upon things that we know would be displeasing to God? Things that he forbids in His Word? Things that we would be ashamed to view if others knew that we were looking at them? May God help us to make a covenant with our eyes!
Make a covenant with you eyes
to shield your gaze from satan’s lies.
For pondering on forbidden fruit
can lead to sin, your soul pollute.
Imagery oft makes alluring cries.
Make a covenant with your eyes.
Let you sights be turned away
from temptations that lead the heart astray.
Captivations of the mind
may spring from seductions, the visual kind.
Make a covenant with your eyes
not to look on the things that can lead to demise.
Sometimes it just takes only a look
to lead us away from God’s holy book.
The way that is right, the way that is wise
make a covenant with your eyes.
Psalm 101:3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
4:24 Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.
4:25 Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.
4:26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.
Matthew 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
Job 31:1 I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?