Summary: This sermon is all about how God sees us at all times in all places. It offers a positive word of encouragement and hope of our all-seeing and all-caring Father.
Charles W. Holt, PhD
GOD DON’T HAVE NO CATARACTS
Excuse me. I know the title has fried the syntax of all good rules of English. Fearing a total meltdown the syntax sensitive among us are ready to bail out. Please stand by. Is there a better way to introduce the serious subject of Divine Providence? Absolutely. You will admit, however, that the title does get one’s attention. It serves two useful purposes. First it captures attention. Most importantly, however, it makes a powerful statement in the most basic of terms. Simply put, it says, "God can see clearly!" In fact, ancient Greek authors would say: God is all eye. Scripture supports this.
Hagar, Sarah’s slave-girl, discovered this after she was banished from the "family" and wandered aimlessly in the wilderness. The Angel of the Lord found her there and spoke to her with great assurance about the future of her yet-to-be-born son. We read: "And she called the LORD who spoke to her, You Are El-roi, by which she meant, Have I not gone on seeing after He saw me. Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi . . . " (Gen. 16:13-14 Tanakh). El-roi means, "God of seeing" (Amplified Bible). Therefore, Beer-lahai-roi means, "A well to the Living One who sees me." Among the numerous references to this fact I choose to cite one that is found in the Psalms. "Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;" (Ps. 33:18 KJV). A simple promise. What a benefit! "To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine" (vs. 19). God’s seeing is not metaphorical, mystical or mythical. It defines certain benefits and blessings we "chance upon" on a daily basis. We understand this as providential happenings or experiences.
A definition is in order. Since I will be using the word providence in a spiritual sense let us understand it to refer to the care, guardianship, and control exercised by our Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ and the agency of His Holy Spirit. Providence carries the idea of divine direction, a.k.a. divine providence. This will be a key to all that we say on this subject. God, being omniscient, i.e., all knowing, has our best interest at heart. His best interest for our best interest is manifest in the advance preparation He makes, through His foresight, for our care and keeping. We will learn, as we continue, how this is a clear and unmistakable principle in our daily life.
That, "God sees clearly," can be one of the most comforting thoughts to our faith and a soft pillow upon which to lay our weary thoughts when we feel discouraged. It was true for Hagar in the wilderness. It offers all of us the possibility, during times of trials, to open windows of hope and provides a reason for expecting a positive outcome regardless of the potential for a readily opposite outcome. I am saying this because of what we read in Scripture. Consider these encouraging words.
1. "The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry" (Ps. 34:14). [Note: I could say (but I won’t) that God don’t have no cataracts and neither does He have hearing aids.] Peter quotes from this Psalm in his letter that is found in 1 Peter 3:12.
2. "For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings" (Pr. 5:21). [Note: I could say (but I won’t) that God don’t have no cataracts and neither does He have hearing aids, and He isn’t senile!]
3. "The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good" (Pr. 15:3). This is confirmed in the next verse below.
4. In a rather strange passage from the prophet Zechariah we read of a ". . . stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes" (3:9). In chapter 4:10 he takes up that theme again saying, "For who hath despised the day of small things? For they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth." If we get nothing else from these two passages let us understand they are saying God sees perfectly (seven eyes) and sees everything in all of creation (the whole earth).
As I write this my memory dredged up the words of an old gospel song we used to sing when I was just a young teen and very young in my faith and walk with the Lord. It always had such dark overtones. Rather than inspiring faith it created a sense of dread and fear. I tried to find a songbook with the words but had no success. Here is all I can remember of the song from over 50-years ago.