From the comedian who often said, “God will get you for that” to the parent who uses the all-seeing eye of God as a threat to keep her child from misbehaving, God is often portrayed as that “big brother” who sees and records everything so that He might punish it.
The “eye” of God is on U.S. money because the design committee wanted to include something alluding to divine providence. An eye-like nebula also bears the name “Eye of God” and some people say if you stare at it and make a wish . . . well, this is stretching things.
Anyway, I’ve had mixed feelings about the eye of God. Psalm 90:8 says, “You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your countenance.” This means God knows every sin that I commit, even those well hidden from others. I cannot hide from God. Most of the time that is fine with me, but when I’ve dallied with a sin too pleasurable to easily dump, the fact that God is looking is disconcerting to say the very least.
Yet I’ve learned that the point of knowing that He knows is not to confuse, aggravate, or grieve me. God wants me to also see my sin the way that He sees it, look at it with His eyes as it were.
My devotional reading today says, “He will bring out these secret sins and set them in the light of His countenance; and when He lays them upon the sinner’s conscience, He will make him feel what an evil and bitter thing it is to have sinned against the Lord.”
His purpose of looking into my sinful heart is to bring me to repentance so I have forgiveness, cleansing, and victory over sin. He wants me to confess (agree with Him about my sin) and turn from it. He knows that every sin hurts me and others. Sin produces no winners.
That is a great comfort about knowing that God can look into my heart and see the secret sins, yet this seeing eye of His has another value. Sometimes I do things that I know are right yet others misinterpret them, or condemn me in some way for what I have done. 1 Corinthians 4:5 offers this: “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.”
When I mess up, He knows it, but when I do right and no one else seems to see it, or care, or even understand that I did well, God knows it. He knows my hidden motives and He understands those things I do that no one else sees.
While it is for me to praise God now, someday, for all my good but unseen deeds and the reasons for doing them, God will praise me. Today, the thought that I cannot only please Him but receive His praise, makes me shake my head in awe. It also deepens my determination to say no to any sin, secret or otherwise.