Summary: When we consider that God is watching us, we may ask, as Job did, whether He is watching us to hurt us, to humiliate us, or to rescue us. Actually He is watching us in love to empower us.
“I can’t let you out of my sight for one minute.” How many
parents here have ever said that? “I can’t let you out of my
sight for one minute.” How many have said it at least a
thousand times? You said it to a small child, bent on doing
something that would hurt. You said it to an older child,
dawdling around the TV set. You said it to a teenager, on
the phone again instead of doing homework. You maybe
even said it to your spouse, who, like somebody I know very
well, gets trapped at his computer instead of bringing up the
package of frozen meat that was requested an hour ago! “I
can’t let you out of my sight for one minute.”
Are you tired of Olivia stories yet? You’d better not be. My
granddaughter is only thirteen months old, and will have time
to produce lots more stories! Margaret went to the kitchen,
just for a minute, and when she came back out to the living
room, Olivia had crawled up about six steps toward the
second floor of the house. She is not supposed to do that,
but it’s hard to tell a child that young what she cannot do. So
up the steps she went, as soon as her grandmother’s eyes
were not around to see.
Now that she can figure out how to crawl up, but not how to
get back down, it’s likely she would fall. So what was
Margaret to do? Several possibilities:
First, Margaret could have decided to demonstrate the
dangers in a very definite way. She could have reached up
and pulled that baby off the step, making her fall down and
feel the pain. That sounds cruel, but let’s admit that is a
possibility. Sort of like the Navy method of teaching people
how to swim -- throw them in and let them learn. Margaret’s
first option was to cause the very thing she feared might
happen, falling down.
Second, Margaret could have decided to berate the little tyke
in no uncertain terms. “You disobedient little brat, I am going
to paddle you so hard you’ll never climb steps again. You
miserable little scamp, you’ll pay for this.” If you think that’s
far-fetched, I have to tell you I hear far worse language in
grocery aisles, where mothers deal with grabbing little hands!
One of the options Margaret had was to tongue-lash the child
and reduce her to tears.
Or, third, if she did not want to make the child fall, or if she
did not want to vent her spleen in angry language, she had
another option. She could have run up the steps, grabbed
Olivia, and rescued her, brought her down to safety.
Grandmother is a lot more powerful than granddaughter, so it
would have been possible to end the crisis by intervening.
All of these things could have been done to a little wanderer
who got out of sight for just a hot minute. But actually none
of these things happened. You want to know what did
happen? It’s a good one. You’ll like it. But you have to wait
to the end of the sermon to find out!
Sometimes we need to be watched. Sometimes somebody
needs to keep an eye on us to protect us or supervise us or
just care for us. Many of us will not do what we are
supposed to do without somebody looking over our
shoulders and keeping track. You may think that you are
independent and a self-starter. And you may be. But I
assure you that most of us do things in an entirely different
way when we are aware that somebody is watching. We
need to be watched.
Are you aware that God is watching? Are you aware of His
all-seeing eye? Now I said, “Are you aware?”. If I were to
ask you if you think that God sees all, right down into your
own life, I’m sure all of us would say “yes”. It is basic to our
theology to understand that God is present, God knows and
God sees. About that there isn’t much argument.
But are you aware of God watching? Do you think about it
often? Do you feel frequently that God sees what you are
doing? My guess is that most of us do not. Most of us run
around oblivious to God’s oversight. What we do not see we
do not think about, and so we are not conscious of God’s
watching us. And since we are not aware of God’s
oversight, we do not understand it. We do not see it for what
Job, in this tenth chapter, is suddenly aware that God is
watching him. Certainly he would not have disagreed if you