Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him,
On those who hope for His lovingkindness,
To deliver their soul from death
And to keep them alive in famine.
Our soul waits for the Lord;
He is our help and our shield.
For our heart rejoices in Him,
Because we trust in His holy name.
Let Your lovingkindness, O Lord, be upon us,
According as we have hoped in You.
How often as children were we told to be careful about what we did even in secret because…
‘God is watchin’ you. He’s tracking every move you make, every Word you say even every thought you think. He will get you when you mess up so do what’s right and be careful!’
What an awful perversion of Scripture. Oh, I understand the motive for such an interpretation. I’m a parent. Duh. But really, who was ever truly successful in protecting a child by threatening them with God’s watchful eye?
As a boy, I could almost picture this huge eye in the heavens focused on me, watching my every move just waiting for me to mess up so that it could zap me. I’m not sure how I pictured the zapping but I knew it had to be a possibility. Hell awaited those who did bad things and God’s roving eye was watching, waiting to cast to Hell those who did bad things. It is still such an encouraging thought. Not!
Now, the truth of Scripture as we see in this Psalm is that God is watching us. Every day He tracks us. He watches over those who fear Him and who hope for His grace. Why? So that He can zap us when we fail? No. Because He longs to keep us alive, truly alive, and deliver us from death. It’s a different type of watching than I was taught as a child. He is watching in order to protect. He is watching in order to bless. He is watching in order to deliver. We eagerly await His deliverance. He pays close attention to our lives in order to provide exactly the help we need right when we need it. He is our shield, guarding us from the arrows of the enemy. God’s watching is not designed to evoke a paralyzing fear of failure that haunts our every decision. It is supposed to evoke rejoicing and thanksgiving. The God of the universe sees us and watches over us in order to bless us. We are covered by His grace. His protection is for eternity. Hallelujah!