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A Covenant with Your Eyes

In this present age and culture, there may be more dangers to the eyes of a man than there have ever been before.  Because the culture celebrates immorality and immodesty, dangers to men lurk around almost every corner.  Many women are not ashamed to display themselves in ways to provoke lust in men, and many men are happy to look on these women. Moreover, images of unclothed women adorn the billboards that line the highways and the magazines that line the checkout aisles at grocery stores.  If we allow it, the technology of our age brings even worse images right into our homes through television and the internet.  Recently, parades of women dressed like prostitutes were held in cities around the country, including Nashville.  The organizers of these parades claimed they were supporting the rights of rape victims and said that a woman should be able to dress as a prostitute and not be assaulted.  Of course, no woman should ever be assaulted, but intentionally provoking men to lust is a perverse and wicked way to make such a statement.

Despite the abundance of temptations around you, you may tend to treat the lust of the eyes lightly, but do not be deceived.  The lust of the eyes is a dangerous fire that threatens to consume the soul.  The apostle John tells us, "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world” (1John 2:16).  The lust of the eyes is no less serious than the lust of the flesh or the boastful pride of life, and they all are passing away along with the world and those who are controlled by them (1John 2:17).  Therefore, don’t be fooled into thinking a little "window shopping” is alright.  It is not okay just to look.

The Bible is filled with warnings against allowing your gaze to fix on that which is unlawful to you.  In Matthew 5:27-29, Jesus addressed the issue of a man’s wandering eye:

"You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.  If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.”

Notice that Jesus connected the eye to the heart.  Indeed, the eye is like a pipeline directly to the heart, and what enters the eye can quickly fill the heart.  In Luke 11:34-35, Jesus said, "The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness.  Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness.”  If your eyes are fixed on a woman who is not your wife, then thoughts of fornication and adultery will likely fill your heart.

Consider the example of David, whose chain of sins began with a mere glance.  David was walking around on the roof his house when "he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful in appearance” (2Sam. 11:2).  In a very short time, David took advantage of this woman, committed adultery, fathered a child, and arranged for a cover-up involving the death of the woman’s husband.  Keep in mind that David was a man after God’s heart (Acts 13:22).  If the lust of the eyes could lead David down such a path of sin, then could it not do the same to you?

To avoid the likeness of David’s sins, you must purpose in your heart to protect your eyes from provocation.   Follow the example of Job 31:1, where Job said, "I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin?”  The reason Job made this covenant with his eyes is explained in Job 31:9-11 – "If my heart has been enticed by a woman, or I have lurked at my neighbor’s doorway, may my wife grind for another, and let others kneel down over her.  For that would be a lustful crime; moreover, it would be an iniquity punishable by judges.”  Ironically, David made a similar covenant with his eyes in Psalm 101:3 – "I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not fasten its grip on me.  A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will know no evil.”  The covenant between you and your eyes is that you will not look with lust on a woman who is not your wife.  "Do not desire her beauty in your heart, nor let her capture you with her eyelids” (Prov. 6:25).  Not only will you not look lustfully on a woman who is in your presence, but also you will not even look with lust on images on television, on the internet, or in printed materials (magazines, books, etc.).  This covenant will be a great blessing to you, for you are protecting your heart when you discipline your eyes.

Therefore, make a covenant with your eyes today, and keep it always.  Consider the advice of Ecclesiastes 11:9:

Rejoice, young man, during your childhood, and let your heart be pleasant during the days of young manhood.  And follow the impulses of your heart and the desires of your eyes.  Yet know that God will bring you to judgment for all these things.

The covenant you make with your eyes will guide the desires of your eyes so that you may stand justified before God’s judgment.  It will prevent your eyes from leading you down a path of condemnation.  Keep this blessed covenant, and pray that you may keep your heart pure by keeping it according to the word of God (Ps. 119:9).

Stacey E. Durham



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