Oh Be Careful Little Eyes

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.

 

8-1-09

 

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?

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5 thoughts on “Oh Be Careful Little Eyes

  1. Excellent and much-needed post, especially with the now constant availability of every kind of perversion at our fingertips via the internet (and sometimes popping up unannounced and unwanted as well.)

    Unfortunately, being careful what you see becomes more and more difficult as the world around us becomes coarser. This has been unpleasantly brought to my attention this week, as the Sturgis motorcycle rally swings into operation. One cannot look at the newspaper, the costumes of many of the women bikers, or even many of the t-shirts worn by the men. And there’s no opportunity to “be careful little eyes,” as the offense is right there in your brain before you have time to avert your eyes. And this is all in Rapid City. Forget Sturgis, where you can ogle women whose clothing is literally spray-painted on (if that), and much more.

    Actually, though, we’re pretty insulated here. It’s only once a year. I was dismayed the last time I visited my former home in FL to see billboards advertising “escort” services, complete with pictures of the “wares.” We have yet to see that sort of thing in SD, but it’s no doubt coming.

    So don’t stop at being careful what you see. We have to go on from there to taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

    Hi Cindy. You bring up a good point here that sometimes we don’t have control about what comes in front of our eyes. The battle then enters our mind, and we have to fight to not be captivated or mesmerized by what we see. That’s a good time to apply the verse you mentioned.

    2Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

    Years ago, when I worked in retail, I was subjected to hearing the ungodly music that was played constantly in the store. It’s not something that I would have listened to if I had a choice. Often I would go home and have to fight to keep the lyrics out of my mind, either by rebuking them in Jesus’ name or replacing them with songs that glorified God or Scripture. Someone once shared a quote with me that went something like this. “You may not be able to stop the buzzards from flying over your head, but you don’t have to let them build a nest there.” The battle really is in our minds, but when we have the choice we need to not allow things that would harm our spirits to enter our minds via our eyes, ears or any of our senses.

    Thanks for stopping by today and sharing your thoughts.

    Blessings,
    Carol

  2. Great thought. We can never be made aware of the dangers we see enough. It seems that no matter where we go, there is always something there in front of us. It is then a matter of not letting it get in our hearts or thought process. I loved your Make A Covenant poem, which I presume you wrote.

    Hi Karen. Yes, we must constantly be on guard as to what we allow into our hearts and minds. Thanks for the compliment on the poem. I wrote it a few days before I put the post together.

  3. Good morning. This is an excellent analysis of how the enemy uses imagery to slip a hook into our jaw and begin reeling us into a direction that will lead to shipwreck. And in this age these images are everywhere.

    Your reply to Cindys comment also caught my attention. “You may not be able to stop the buzzards from flying over your head, but you don’t have to let them build a nest there.” Amen! This is an issue that all of us face and one that I confront daily; even in my own home. My household is very divided and as such, I’m at ground zero 24/7. I direct things in a positive manner as much as I can, but I’m not always here. Oftentimes I have to just “stand fast for truths which nobody else in this family agrees with.

    Last week (I think it was Wednesday evening) I was at work thinking about the situation at home. Although I know how serious it is, it was as though the Lord suddenly peeled away a layer of screening to grant a refined picture of the situation. It was (and is) heartbreaking to see those in my own family not born of the Spirit and seeming to have no desire for the things of God.

    I remember a few years ago, the term “asymetrical warfare” was made popular as folks were trying to define the obscure war on terror; a conflict that has no recognizable front lines. If this is the case, than spiritual combat is hyper-compound-multi-faceted-asymetrical warfare-SQUARED.” And this enemy never sleeps. Even understanding the status of our own venue is difficult and as such we must stay close to Jesus.

    Thanks for a very noteworthy post. Sorry for going into other directions on the comment. Blessings always in Jesus name.

    timbob

    Hi Timbob. I agree in that we have an enemy who never sleeps. This Scripture just came to mind.

    1Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

    We need not only a sensitivity to God but an awareness of the cunning devices of our adversary. Thanks for stopping by. I continue to pray for your family.

    Blessings,
    Carol

  4. Excellent Post! They say a picture is worth a thousand words. That is why it is very important we need to continue to remind ourselves ” Oh, be careful little eyes what you see”.

    When teaching, a child will hear what the teacher dictates. They retain part of that. They learn some by reading and retain part of that. But educators have noticed that students learn more when there are pictures involved. So they have brought in visual aids. Once the eye has seen an image, that picture is there and locked in.

    I know that there are things out there that are just going to jump in front of our eyes that we can’t help but see. That is when we must take a stand and like David cry out to God In Psalms 51:7; “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” Ask God to get that filth out of our minds eye and purify us. Then we need to go on to do what it says in Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” The key words here are “WHATSOEVER THINGS ARE OF GOOD REPORT IF THERE BE ANY VIRTUE, AND IF THERE BE ANY PRAISE, THINK ON THESE THINGS”.

    The first part of Job 31:1 reads; “I made a covenant with mine eyes…” We need to be like Job and make this same covenant. Again I say “Excellent Post” and so needed in these last days.
    God Bless, Jolene

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