Saturday, July 18, 2015

"Eye Covenant"

Job 31.1, 7-8 NIV

“I have made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.”

“If my steps have turned from the path, if my heart has been led by my eyes, or if my hands have been defiled, then may others eat what I have sown, and may my crops be uprooted.”

I purchased my first iPhone a several years ago and took a crazy number of pictures.  It’s easy. Anytime the thought occurs to me, I press the camera app and capture the moment. 

The human brain functions like a camera. Our eyes are viewfinders. Once we’ve selected subject matter of interest, we fix our gaze and take a mental snapshot. It’s easy. Just point and shoot. The image makes an impression on our brain and we can pull it up anytime we choose. This photographic capacity of the human mind is amazing. If we direct our eyes toward that which uplifts and benefits us, we capture a cerebral image that will motivate us to achieve God’s best for our lives. For example, when I see a man treat his wife like a queen and his children with respect, I remember that. The idea is filed somewhere in my gray matter and reminds me to repeat that behavior with my own family.

There’s a danger also. If I am indiscriminate in my choice of subject matter, then, like Job, my “my heart has been led by my eyes”. That’s not a good thing. My heart is my control center.[1] It should control my eyes, not the other way around. My heart is the operating system that makes everything else in my life work right. If my heart is “led by my eyes, marred by unwholesome images and past negative recollections, I set myself up for a fall. I must use caution in what I choose to look at or I will inhibit the flow of God in me and potentially destroy my life, as the Bible says...

“Watch over your heart with all diligence,
for from it flow the springs of life.”
Proverbs 4.23 NASB

In the words of Jesus…

“The lamp of the body is the eye; if therefore your eye is clear,
your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole
body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you
is darkness, how great is the darkness!”
Matthew 6.22-23 NASB  

Job “made a covenant with [his] eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.”

Q: Why would Job, or anyone, make a covenant with his eyes?
A: Clear eyes = clean heart = happy man = effective follower of Jesus.  


[1] The terms "heart", "mind", and "brain" are used interchangeably in this post.  In ancient Hebrew times, the concept of heart and mind were synonymous.  The notion that all internal human processes merge to form a singular concept is common in ancient literature of the middle east. 
"The thinking processes of man are said to be carried out by the heart. This intellectual activity corresponds to what would be called mind in English. Thus, the heart may think (Est 6:6), understand (Job 38:36), imagine (Jer 9:14), remember (Deut 4:9), be wise (Prov 2:10), and speak to itself (Deut 7:17). Decision-making is also carried out by the heart. Purpose (Acts 11:23), intention (Heb 4:12), and will (Eph 6:6) are all activities of the heart".
Quote from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary, "Heart", copyright © 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers. 


  1. Job didn't say not to look *lustfully* he said not to look upon. There is a big difference. Men are using the lust factor as an excuse to be able to look as long as they are aren't lusting.

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