THE EYES AND
EARS OF YAHWEH
"The eyes of
Yahweh are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry."
As we deal with the daily struggles of living, it is both an encouragement and a blessing to know that "the eyes of Yahweh are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry."
There is much assurance in this statement for faithful Christians. To realize that the Creator of this immense and beautiful universe in which we live both sees and hears us is almost too much to grasp. After all, who are we and where would we be without the grace and mercy of God?
What does it mean for the eyes of Yahweh to be upon the righteous and why are His ears open to their cry? What does this mean for us personally on a daily basis? There are common struggles that we all face. None of us escape such things as depression, stress, sorrow, pain, temptation, trials, sin and a host of other things. We need to realize that God sees us go through these things and that He is intensely interested in what we go through. To those who have benefited from the fact that the eyes of Yahweh are over the righteous, the answer to what this means to us on a daily basis is clear. Yet, many people go through an entire lifetime without ever knowing the blessings that come from the seeing eyes and hearing ears of Yahweh. In this study, it will be our aim to see what effect the seeing eyes and hearing ears of Yahweh have upon the righteous.
WHAT DOES YAHWEH SEE WITH HIS EYES?
The short answer to this is that God sees everything. The Hebrew writer stated, "And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account (Hebrews 4:13). When the Bible says that no creature is hidden from His sight, it is telling us that not one person is hidden from God at any time. There is never a time when He does not know what we are doing or what we are going through in our lives. The Psalmist was inspired to write: "O Yahweh, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Yahweh, You know it altogether. You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in the realm of the dead, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, surely the darkness shall fall on me, even the night shall be light about me; indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You" (Psalm 139:1-12). What great comfort it ought to be for God's people to know that He knows the things mentioned here. God knows when every person sits down and rises up. He knows every word we speak. He knows the thoughts of every person, including what we are thinking at this moment. There is nothing that we go through that God does not know about. Darkness cannot hide anything from God, neither can space or time. The Bible says, "For His eyes are on the ways of man, and He sees all his steps" (Job 32:21). God sees the "ways of man." That is, He sees the course of life that each of us have chosen to follow. He sees all our "steps." He sees where those steps are leading us. He sees when we face that which hurts and harms us.
The Bible also teaches us that God sees the evil and the good. "The eyes of Yahweh are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good" (Proverbs 15:3). The eyes of Yahweh are in every place. That means there is no way we can hide our actions or even our thoughts from Him no matter how hard we try. There are no circumstances under which God's view is blocked. To the evil -- those who are living in rebellion to God -- this fact ought to be a warning and an incentive to turn from sin. This is true because every sin that God sees us commit (and He sees them all) that we have not received forgiveness for will face us in judgment. Solomon was inspired to write, "For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil" (Ecclesiastes 12:14). Since God sees every sin that we commit and holds us accountable for those sins, then our salvation depends upon our receiving His forgiveness for those sins. To the righteous, the fact that God sees the evil and the good, should be a great source of joy and should give us confidence as we live before Him. It should make us realize that God sees when we are facing difficult times and that He will bless us. He sees when we are obedient to Him and He will reward us.
When inspiration says that God would bring every work into judgment and every secret thing, that includes the good as well as the bad. Faithful service in this life will result in the reception of eternal life. But that's not the only reward we receive. Even now, as we live in obedience to God, faithfulness is rewarded with numerous blessings, including the joy of spiritual fellowship, comfort in times of sorrow, help in time of need, and assurance in times of uncertainty and hardship. We can be assured, that even if no one on this earth sees the good that we do, God sees and knows.
God also sees the struggles of the righteous in this life. God sees when you are depressed, upset or angry. He sees when you lose a loved one in death. He sees when you are rejected and ridiculed for being a Christian. He sees when you are tempted to sin. And what God sees concerns Him. He cares about what He sees. He cares with a care that transcends or exceeds any caring that may be characteristic of human beings. That is why the Bible says, "His ears are open to their cry."
WHAT DOES YAHWEH HEAR WITH HIS EARS?
The Psalmist said that Yahweh hears the "cry" of the righteous. Since the eyes of Yahweh are ever watching over the righteous then it is natural to conclude that He will also be willing and able to hear the cry of the righteous. How do the righteous cry to God? The answer is through prayer. When we cry to God through the avenue of prayer what does He hear?
First, He hears our fears. "I sought Yahweh, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears" (Psalm 34:4). Not only does the Psalmist say that Yahweh hears us, but that He delivers us from all our fears. What fears may we as Christians have? Maybe the fear of failure in living for Christ. We must admit the possibility of failure. Paul wrote, "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall" (1 Corinthians 10:12). Dear reader, Paul would not have warned against falling if it were impossible for a Christian to fall. It is certainly possible for a Christian to fall from God's grace (Galatians 5:4). Do you recall the account of Simon the sorcerer in Acts 8? Simon had obeyed the gospel of Christ (Acts 8:13) and was following the apostles seeing them imparting gifts of the Holy Spirit to his fellow Christians. He offered money to the apostles to buy the ability to do what the apostles were doing. When Peter told Simon that "You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God" (Acts 8:21), Simon began to fear and He said to Peter, "Pray to the Lord for me, that none of the things which you have spoken may come upon me" (Acts 8:24). How was Simons' fear of failure relieved? Through repentance, confession of his sin, and praying for forgiveness.
There is also the fear of what people may do to us. Too many Christians live in fear of being rejected by their fellow man. Yes, it is possible to believe in Christ and fear the reaction of others. It is not a good thing to have this kind of fear. The Bible places "the fearful" right along with murderers, fornicators and liars in Revelation 21:8 and says that they "shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." But there is a way to overcome this kind of fear. Hebrews 13:6 says, "So we may boldly say: The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?" We can receive help from the Lord to overcome this fear. We must not "fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matthew 10:28).
Then there is the fear of facing trials. The trials that Christians face take a variety of forms: The loss of a loved one is one of the greatest sources of trials. The faithful Christian knows he can depend on God for comfort. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God" (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Yes, we serve "the God of all comfort." He hears our cries as we face various trials and provides comfort to our troubled hearts.
Failure of health is a trial. This is a great problem in our world. Cancer, heart disease, accidents and such like are common to many people, including Christians. But God can help us understand and accept those conditions we can't do anything about. I think of Paul's "thorn in the flesh" that he speaks of in 2 Corinthians 12. When Paul cried to the Lord about this problem God answered him like this: "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9a). As a result of this, Paul's attitude changed. He said, "Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me" (2 Corinthians 12:9b). When health fails we can depend on God's grace and the power of God who can turn that which seems bad into a blessing for us and those around us. Yes, tribulation of various kinds continually affects our lives, but we have a God who has eyes to see those trials and ears to hear our cries. The Bible says, "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16). What a great promise! Just think, we can come before the throne of God with boldness and confidence that God will hear and answer our cries in the best way for us and the best way to accomplish His will in our lives and the lives of others.
Yahweh also hears our prayers for the lost. Paul is an example of one who prayed for the lost. In Romans 10:1 he wrote, "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved." It was his heart's desire and prayer that those of His own nation would be saved. We should pray that prayer also, and then try to do all we can to answer that prayer. Jesus said, "Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest" (Matthew 9:38). Paul asked the Thessalonians to, "pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you..." (2 Thessalonians 3:1). We must do all we can to see that these prayers are answered by sending those who are willing to go to preach throughout the world and by going ourselves in our own communities and teaching the lost. Also, we must pray for erring brothers and sisters (James 5:16; 1 John 5:16) and then take the action necessary to bring them back to their first love.
CONFIDENCE IN LIVING RIGHTEOUS LIVES
Knowing what Yahweh sees with His eyes and hears with His ears should give us confidence in living righteous lives. With dependence and trust in God we can succeed in living the Christian life. As we close this study I would like to look at Ephesians 3:11-21. "...according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him. Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height; to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." This passage clearly indicates that the faithful Christian has every reason to be confident concerning his faith in God and in the fact that the eyes of Yahweh are over the righteous and His ear open to their cry. Let us face this life with confidence, knowing that God is with us and will not desert us in times of trial and tribulation. The apostle Paul recognized this truth and declared, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13).
Dear reader, do you have this confidence and assurance? If not, you can. The first step is in humbling yourself to the point of being willing to obey the gospel of Christ. You must believe that Jesus is the Son of God (Mark 16:16); Repent of your sins (Luke 13:3); Confess your faith in Christ (Matthew 10:32-33) and be baptized (buried in water) for the remission of your sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38). When you do this you will be added to the church of Christ (Acts 2:47). As a Christian you can live a life faithful unto death (Revelation 2:10) and receive a crown of life -- everlasting life with our Heavenly Father. Won't you obey Him today?