Monday, January 12, 2009

Be thou my vision...

Job 29-37 covers incredible territory and I'm finding it difficult to narrow down this treasure trove to just one primary focus, but seeing as how that is my goal, I'll take two words from this sentence and go from there.

The first word I want to highlight is "focus". It is apparent at this point in my reading that Job's life focus was to live blamelessly before God.

The second word I'll lift from my initial sentence is "seeing". Verses 1-4 of chapter 31 reads:

1 “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman. 2 For what has God above chosen for us? What is our inheritance from the Almighty on high? 3 Isn’t it calamity for the wicked and misfortune for those who do evil? 4 Doesn’t he see everything I do and every step I take? NLT

With our eyes, we see and we focus. Job's sight was fixed on God and his focus was righteous living.

My mother's father was one of at least eleven children. Four of his siblings (as far as my mother can remember) were blind. I don't know if I ever met any of those blind great aunts or uncles, I probably did, but I heard about them all my life--specifically, Uncle Fred.

I remember hearing about his braille Bible and being told that he really didn't need it because he'd memorized it in its entirety. I also have a recollection of my mother telling me that he graduated from Duke--the Divinity school if I'm not mistaken--quite a feat for a blind student so long ago. It seems that despite his physical blindness, he could see spiritually. From what I'm told, his lack of eyesight did not prevent him from accomplishing remarkable things.

"Seeing" is a precious gift, but it is entirely possible for one to "see," yet still be blind; to have sight, but no vision. Job saw and confessed that God had all authority and all power. Despite his dismal circumstances, his vision of God's greatness never wavered.

Job's covenant with his eyes was just one of a long list of determined decisions that he mentioned related to the values he would not compromise. His awareness that God would be dishonored by lust compelled him to "covenant" with his eyes not to go there. If you know anything about the word covenant, you know it means something much deeper than a commitment or promise, it's a binding agreement between two parties that is not to be broken.

How can a young man or young woman make such a bold commitment or covenant today? When television channels, mall windows, billboards, movies, and novels all bear provocative images that are specifically designed to arouse our flesh, is this a battle we can win? And does God still care about how we respond to what our eyes see all these years after this man Job lived? The Bible says that he is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8) --so the answer is, YES.

Recently, we've been discussing in our family how subtly the world creeps in with its unholiness and ungodliness, intent on deceiving us with enticements. Sometimes, we patronize the same shops, watch the same movies, read the same books, and watch the same television channels as our non-believing neighbors...and then wonder why it seems that our once vibrant fellowship with God now seems less than amazing.

I'm convinced that it's time to make my own eye covenant--time to focus only on pure, right, honorable, lovely, admirable, true, excellent and praiseworthy things (Philippians 4:8) instead of following the lead of this blind world. Vision and sight are not the same. Uncle Fred's eyes didn't work, but his vision was perfect--he saw that God could use him despite his physical limitations, so he devoted himself to study and preparation for Christian service and ministry.

Today, my prayer is this: If I ever follow blindly, let it be only you, Lord, who is leading. Be thou my vision.


  1. You know if you go to you can print your blog out into a book? Since you are putting this down for the gands thought you might be interested in a bound copy to give them one day. I have a friend who does her blog each year so she can look back at it as a scrap book.

  2. Good stuff... Thanks for sharing this. I had never thought about Job's vision like this...