The Searching Eyes of the Lord

Jimmy Schumacher inventor of the walking clown barrel

“Wisdom comes from good judgment, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.”  The cowboy proverb is never truer than when you get a bunch of college guys together.  One night during spring semester boredom had set in.  We headed out to Lucas’ house, built a bon fire, and ideas for entertainment began to swirl.

Lucas had come to posses a bullfighting clown barrel.  As with most things that come into his possession, zebu’s, musket’s, miniature horses, vehicles, it was known only to him how it became his.  The rest of us just knew it was cool.   Late one night around the campfire, the clown barrel was brought up as a form of entertainment.  We weren’t really sure what we were going to do with it, but it was steel, round and in close proximity to a hill.  I can’t remember who it was that climbed in first, and I can’t really remember who suggested we roll down the hill, but it was probably Lucas on both accounts.  As we hauled the barrel up the hill, there wasn’t a single ounce of pause in our brains that we were about to embark on one great night.  Matt jumped in the barrel atop the hill.  With a short countdown, the rest of us gave him a shove.  As the moonlight reflected off the barrel careening down the hill, we were mesmerized at the pace in which it rolled.  Then we noticed the moonlight reflecting off the creek at the bottom of the hill.  The barrel was not a flotation device and as it splashed into the cool waters of the creek, we who were on top of the hill sprinted down to the bottom attempting to free Matt from the clown barrel as it came to rest on the bottom of the creek.  He got out, no one died, it was a good night.  Needless to say our judgment may have been poor that night.  Dorm life is just as detrimental to good judgment.  Taking a shot to the back with a water-ballon launcher form 15ft away, chair-jousts at 2 in the morning, office chair racing on asphalt, in a place of higher learning, wisdom can be scarce as jackalopes.

Judgment is the ability to make a decision about something, good or bad, the capacity to take information and make a decision.  Often times we think of God’s judgment as a negative thing, which it very well can be.  But God’s judgment can be a favorable one as well.  Scripture speaks of the eyes [‘ayin] of the Lord [Yahweh].  The eyes of the Lord is His judgment of man’s actions.  The Lord looks at what we do, what we offer, what we live, and makes His judgement.

The eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth (2 Chron. 16.9; Zech 4.10) searching, watching, and observing the attitudes and actions of humanity. They act on behalf of those committed [salem] to Him. This Hebrew word for committed, salem, is the word for completeness, wholeness, and lavish.  A heart that is lacking nothing undevoted to God. Think about Noah, in Genesis 6, he found favor [chen…grace] in the eyes of the Lord because of his righteousness, blameless actions and his relationship with God (Gen. 6.8-9).  It was King David (1 Kings 15.5) and great Kings of Judah, like Asa, Jehosophat, Joash, Uzziah, Jotham, Hezekiah and Josiah.  Kings that led their people in truth and commitment to the Lord.  They did good in the eyes of the Lord.  The stood for truth, acted on their faith, and walked with the Lord.  The were judged as having done good in His eyes.

His eyes not only judges things as good, but see the wicked as well (Prov 15.3).  Seven times in Judges the people of Israel did evil in the eyes of the Lord.  They served the Baals, forsook God, and sinned against the Lord.  The Kings of the Northern Kingdom did nothing but evil in the Lord’s eyes.  They served other gods, prostituted themselves in idol worship, trusted in other nations, and refused to listen to the prophets.  They did so much evil in the eyes of the Lord, Amos would prophesy about them: “Surely the eyes of the Sovereign Lord are on the sinful kingdom.  I will destroy it from the face of the earth—yet I will not totally destroy the house of Jacob.” (Amos 9.8)  The Southern Kingdom of Judah managed to do right in God’s eyes for many years, but their ultimate down fall was disobedience as Judah did evil in the eyes of the Lord (Jer. 7.30-8.3)

When God looks upon this earth, when His eyes wander over this planet, what does he see and what will his judgment be?  When His sight falls upon us, will He see truth (Jer. 5.3), those who fear Him, hope in Him (Psalm 33.18), and those who are righteous (Ps. 34.15)?  Men like David and Noah.  Or does his eyes fall upon the wicked? Those that bow down to other gods, that place created things above the Creator, that take advantage of and exploit their neighbors? When it comes to us, are we serving the Lord faithfully? Are we honoring the Lord with our service, our work, our family, our worship, our life?  When God looks upon our actions will he judge that it is good, or does He watch in horror as we are careening down the hill of sin with nothing to stop us?

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