Summary: The fact that God has his eye on us is a reason to be both careful and joyful.
“I’ve got my eye on you!” Those words can be intimidating can’t they? Especially if they come from someone in authority like a school principal or the boss at work. If people like that say they have their eye on you, be careful! If you do something they don’t like, you’ll be in big trouble. On the other hand if someone you’re attracted to says, “I’ve got my eye on you!” that’s a reason to rejoice for you are the object of that person’s love and care.
In our sermon text today God says to us, “I’ve got my eye on you.” Is that good news or bad news? It’s both. When God says he has his eye on us it’s a reason to be both careful and joyful. Let’s find out more.
Our text begins like this: “13 From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind; 14 from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth— 15 he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do” (Psalm 33:13-15). There’s nothing difficult about these opening verses. They simply illustrate how God has his eye on the whole world. God, however, doesn’t view the world the way we view a crowd. When we look at a crowd, we see a group not individuals. Sure, we may pick out distinguishing features of individuals here and there but we can’t focus on everyone’s individual traits at once. God can and does. As God views the world he sees how each one of us is dressed, he sees whether we’re smiling or frowning, and he knows what we do in private as well as in public.
Isn’t that a bit disconcerting? Sure it is. How many of us like it when a clerk follows us around as we browse a clothing store? When people hover like that we feel that our personal space violated. Well God not only hovers, watching everything we do, he looks into our hearts to see what the motivation is behind the things we think, say, and do. For example he knows how we did the dishes last night because we didn’t want to lose any part of our allowance, not because we we’re happy to serve. He sees how we came to church this morning because our parents made us, not because we were eager to hear God’s Word. He perceives how we made that hospital visit more for our sake, to show others what a kind person we are, than for the sake of the person we visited. Friends, God doesn’t just see us; he sees through us.
Since God’s eye is on us, we better be careful. We shouldn’t foolishly think that, because our parents or the pastor don’t know about the sinful things we are doing, we are going to get away with them. God knows. That ought to scare each and everyone of us because if God knows about the things that I’m doing, things which the world may say is OK but God clearly says is not, I’m in big trouble. I’m in trouble because God says: “…the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur” (Revelation 21:8b).
So what can we do to escape God’s wrath over our sins? There is nothing we can do. Our text makes that clear when it says: “16 No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. 17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save” (Psalm 33:16, 17). We are no match for God when he flexes his muscles. What good was America’s military might in the face of Hurricane Katrina? What good was the sinewy strength of the Kashmiri mountain-man against earthquake? And what good will our computers, cell phones, and X-Boxes be in keeping us from getting avian influenza?
So far Psalm 33 is proving to be pretty depressing isn’t it? But wait! There’s hope. The psalmist goes on to say: “18 But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, 19 to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. 20 We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. 21 In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. 22 May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you” (Psalm 33:18-22). God’s eye is indeed on us but the psalmist wants us to know that God has his eye on us to save us, not destroy us. That’s a reason to rejoice!
Although there is nothing we can do to escape God’s wrath over our sins, in his love God provided the escape. The psalmist calls God “our help and our shield” (Psalm 33:20b). Think of what a shield does. It deflects and absorbs the blows from swords and arrows so that the person standing behind the shield remains safe. God sent us such a shield in the person of Jesus. Jesus shields us from God’s anger over our sins by deflecting and absorbing God’s wrath. He did this when he died on the cross. How big of a shield is Jesus? Because he wasn’t just human but also God’s Son from eternity, Jesus is a shield large enough to cover the whole world. In other words, Jesus died to pay for the sins of all people. So put your hope, your trust in Jesus. Don’t put your trust anywhere else. If you do, then you are taking a step out from behind Jesus and you will have to face God’s wrath on your own.