A “Bible Study Visual” Devotional on seeing by Marge Hoecke
You will notice as we go along that several of the verses come from Ps 119…longest chapter in the Bible with 176 verses, most of which refer to God’s Word in one way or another using different words such as commands, precepts, law, decrees, statutes, testimonies etc.
One of many changes as we age is in the eyes. For years I depended on drugstore glasses to read, long-distance was good. 3 years ago, at my grandson’s baseball game, the score was 3-1. I saw 33-11 because I had double vision. Computer printouts at work were dim, adding machine tape dim – why sec’y not change the ribbon?
Regular reading getting to be hard.. to dr – said I had cataracts, probably long time – surgery or prescription… got prescription glasses
Per Alec Motyer – “Eyes symbolize what one is looking for in life, aims, objectives, ideals, desires, expectations.”
I thought the word VISION would help us understand things about our eyes:
V iew – range of vision, seeing, examining, opinion
……with cataracts view is cloudy, distorted, foggy, like steamed up mirror, can give wrong information.
2 Cor 4:4 says that Satan has blinded the eyes of unbelievers so they do not see the light of the gospel that displays Jesus Christ.
Even believers can have a clouded view, – can blind us to our own sin, not see it the way God does. It can damage our relationship to God and others. Because we are not seeing clearly, may not see the whole picture of something or someone and become critical or judgmental, have prejudices.
We need Holy Spirit to do cataract removal so we can see Jesus and His glory and see others the way He does, as people for whom He died.
I dolatry – Usually think of idolatry as something in the OT – actual idols, made by hands
We often use our eyes to see things as more important than they are.
Idolatry is “worship of a physical object or person, anything that comes between us and God”
Devotion to something/someone other than God.
A worldview that limits its focus or attention on what is seen by only the physical eye will invariably lead to a materialistic outlook.
Use eyes to view TV, internet, sports, movies, mobile devices, etc – which on the surface may not be bad but…
Recent quote “Humans love to make good things “god” things”
There can be thoughtless watching, can build up tolerance to actions we see or words we hear so that we can drift toward worldliness – gradual – don’t realize we are seeing/thinking differently than we used to think
…….with my cataracts, my vision was gradually getting worse. I didn’t realize I wasn’t seeing as well, missing things, I was deceived about reality
verses – Ps 119:37, Ps 101:3
Everything we do is seen by God – our thoughts and actions, what are eyes are looking at….He sees, He knows. We are accountable to Him for what we watch, where our minds have wandered, time squandered. If looking at other things, cannot see God.
Recent eclipse good example – cannot see glory of God if we or something else is in the way. The moon hid the sun from view, but when it started moving away, we could see more and more of the sun. WE have to get out of the way or put other things out of the way so we can see the glory of the SON. We can’t see Jesus as glorious if we love things, self, more than Him
S eek – focus, main purpose, recurrent search, discover, repeated action,
as in a habit. Often think of a habit as bad thing, but we can develop good habits.
Couple of years ago, Lisa told us how to develop good habits.
Example: get in habit of setting aside time each day to read, study, meditate on God’s Word.
verses – Psalm 119:15
John Piper says “ our inner person, the real us, sees and knows things. There is spiritual seeing beyond natural seeing” He also says we cannot just decide to see Scripture, – seeing is a gift”. We need to have desire to read it. Need to ask God to give us that desire. We need super-natural seeing, for God to shine His light…
as it says in ….2 Cor. 4:6 “For God Who said, Let light shine out of darkness, made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge o f God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ” which leads to our next letter….
I llumination – shining a light on something
Song – MWS – “Open the eyes of my heart, Lord…I want to see You”
verse – Eph 1:18
When HS opens our spiritual eyes, it is like having cataract surgery.
…….My eyes continued to get worse – dr. said prescription cannot be any stronger, need surgery. Friends – like Louise , said it was a painless surgery with good results, so this time I was ready for it –in June, 2017 –
Afterward, couldn’t believe what I could see. One day, I looked in mirror and wondered why I had aged so much in so short a time…had I been so stressed about the surgery? I saw wrinkles, age spots – ….realized the cataracts kept me from seeing the truth.
I see marks and dings on the kitchen floor I didn’t know were there, I see dirty spots I didn’t even realize were there – on clothes, walls….(downside of surgery) That adding machine tape at the office?…… I can see it just fine. No more double vision. I am very thankful that God gives skill to surgeons.
When HS opens our eyes, we can see much more clearly, easier to understand as we read the Bible to see what is really there
verses – Ps 19:8, Ps 119:18
We encounter God when we read His Word. It is a testimony about Him, it is the standard for truth, morality, wisdom, guidance
Scripture is sufficient, authoritative, necessary
verse – Ps 19:10 sums it up
O bserve – to conform action, comply with, obey
It does no good to read the Bible unless we intend to obey it
verses – Ps 119:2, Ps 119:34, Ps 119:129,
In Jn 14:15 Jesus said if you love Me, you will obey what I command
Ps 26:3 says “For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness.”
The meaning of the Bible text is what author intends to communicate by his words.
Aim of reading is to understand the words so I feel, think or do something.
When we read the Bible, we should be asking questions:
To understand the Bible
To apply the Bible
There are many helpful ways to study Scripture; that is just one way.
Another is to use a reporter’s method of asking questions:
what, where, when, why, who etc. to get all the facts about passage,
the content and context, summarize the passage, what is the main takeaway,
apply it to your life
…..About 2 months after I came up with the title, “What do you see?”, I read an article by Anne G Lotz. She was at the beach watching the water and God seemed to say to her “What do you see?” She said she saw sandpipers running along the water, staying just out of its reach. She saw skimmers skimming the surface of the water, seagulls standing up to their knees, and pelicans diving in the water headfirst to catch their fish. She said God seemed to say to her that the Bible is like the ocean and people are like the birds. Some don’t really want to get their feet wet, just want to listen to the preacher tell them what the Bible says. Some skim for facts and info…….but some are like pelicans, diving into deep Bible study, applying and living out what they learn. ……We should strive to be like pelicans!
N ear – feeding on God’s Word draws us nearer to Him
verses Ps 73:28 Ps 119:151
James 4:8 says “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you”
Spurgeon says – The HS turns our eyes away from ourselves to Jesus – that He is everything. He died to save us. We look to Him as our source of joy, hope.
We should keep our eyes on Jesus – His suffering, death, glory.
Ps 123:2 “Our eyes look to the Lord our God…”
Heb 12:2 “Looking to Jesus, the founder and protector of our faith…”
The nearer to God we are, the better we see Him.
We should ask ourselves: Has our Bible reading brought us nearer to our Lord?
Did we see Him and His glory in the Scriptures?
Mt 6:22 says “the eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.”
David Jeremiah says we are called to live a focused life. Jesus should be the first love of our life – keep your eyes on Him.
John Stott says that our greatest need today is an enlarged vision of JC.
I titled this talk “What do you see” but a better title is “WHO do you see” when you study Scripture. The ultimate aim of reading God’s Word is to see the living God and worship Him, find Him more satisfying.
Song: “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”