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I have floaters in my eyes. I’m sure many of you have them as well. I noticed them one summer day while I was looking up at the blue sky. It freaked me out. It looked like a worm that I could kind of see through, but still see the outline of. I didn’t know what it meant. They’ve gotten worse over the past year or two. For the most part I’ve gotten used to them, but there are times when one in my right eye will get right in my field of vision and I find myself rolling my eyes to try to get it to move enough so that I can focus. I’ve heard that taking Advair (an asthma medication) can have this side effect, so I stopped taking it right away.
It can take some getting used to, sometimes I think I see something move on the floor, only to look there and see that it was nothing. These floaters affect how I see the world, but today we’re going to talk about how the world sees you through your eyes.
Today we encounter a learning tactic of the teacher. The numerical ladder. If you’ve spent much time reading the Old Testament, I’m sure you’ve come across this statement. “There are six things that the Lord hates, even seven things that are an abomination to him.” This was confusing to me for quite some time. First, why would he say there are six when there are seven? Second, why would he say there are seven things and then say later that there are other things the Lord hates?
What I have discovered is that this is a teaching tool that helps to summarize some of the content that was covered earlier in this chapter. The implication with the ladder is that there are more things than this that the Lord hates. While we have received warning about debt and other ways we should avoid, we have also been warned about a certain kind of man. In today’s verses we hear the summary of what this man looks like. Yes they are a warning for us to avoid acting this way. And yes, we should do our best to avoid them. However, there is also a strong warning about avoiding this kind of man. He is not wise, he is full of himself. His motives are engulfed in building his own kingdom, not the Kingdom of God. He may even shroud his agenda under the guise of building the Kingdom of God, but when pressed the man described in this verse will reveal his impure ways.
There are six things that the Lord hates,
even seven things that are an abomination to him:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that are swift to run to evil,
a false witness who pours out lies,
and a person who spreads discord among family members.
Okay, so I understand most of these. A lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood (does that mean it’s okay to shed guilty blood?), a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run to evil, a false witness (lying – but specifically with the agenda to disgrace someone else) and spreading discord among family members (or the guy who liks to stir things up).
But what about haughty eyes? Why is that in there, and why is it first? After doing a little study, I discovered that this “refers to a proud look suggesting arrogant ambition.” The eyes are a very important part of the human body when it comes to the Bible. We learn about eyes from Jesus in Matthew 6 – “The eye is the lamp of the body. If then your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is diseased, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (It’s also worth noting that this passage comes in the context of Jesus telling us what the most important pursuit in life is.)
So, through the eyes we can see the rest of the body. Have you ever been able to tell someone was in a bad mood just by looking at their eyes? You can also tell when someone is happy and sad, all by looking in their eyes. You can see when they are connected or being distant. So, when you look in someone’s eyes and see that they are haughty, or high and lofty, or condescending, you can probably tell what kind of person they are. (Not always, but often.)
This is the kind of person God does not tolerate. God doesn’t tolerate pride. So, be sure not to be this kind of person. Make sure your life is not full of the things we have learned about so far – dishonesty, arrogance and all kinds of evil. For it may just come out through your eyes. I suspect one of the reasons God hates pride so much is that when we are proud we find ourselves in the business of building our own kingdom. When we’re building our own kingdom, the universe revolves around us instead of around God. So, it’s no surprise that he hates it. So today, “be careful little eyes what you see” is good, but perhaps, “be careful little eyes what you show.” is of more importance. Let’s make sure we’re building the right Kingdom – God’s and His only.