When I first discovered the power of doing word studies, I took great pains to check the meaning of each and every word in a verse, not wishing to miss anything that may be hidden in the Scriptures, waiting to be uncovered by a diligent student of the Word. I sought to be that diligent student and the discoveries have been more than satisfying and totally rewarding. Here is one such instance of my little gold dig around the Scriptures.
“The Lord looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.” Psalm 33:13-15 (emphasis mine)
I was reading Psalm 33 and noticed something in vv13-15. In the NKJV, there are two “looks”. Instinctively, led the Spirit I believe, I reached for my Strong’s Concordance and Hebrew Lexicon. In those days, I didn’t have the benefit of a bible software. Tracing the Hebrew root to have a better idea of the nuance of this word, the first “look” refers to a general look or a broad scan, albeit one with consideration and regard. The second “look”, with no apparent difference in English, denotes a gaze or a stare. It is a much longer and a more intense look, presumably to gain enough information that a purpose might be facilitated.
With this deeper understanding, I read the verse again and it literally blew my mind. Employing Hebrew poetic prose, the writer repeats his point but with greater emphasis and focus. From where He is, God looks and sees all. That is something we expect of a God who is all-knowing. But that general cursory glance across humanity doesn’t remain one that is impersonal, cold and detached. Not at all! As if adjusting His telescopic lens, He zooms in and goes for a close-up view of each and every individual. This is no longer a broad scan of what’s happening on Planet Earth. It is a loving, caring gaze that looks intently into each heart, situation and detail!
There is an account in the Bible about an Egyptian maid named Hagar. Her mistress Sarai became jealous of her, treated her harshly, causing her to flee into the wilderness. Hagar thought that no one would understand her plight because no one saw how wrongly she had been treated. She was wrong. Because God looked, and He looked, and He acted. God saw her in her broken-ness and confusion, ministered to her and blessed her. She didn’t really know who this God was but she gave Him a name, the very first name of God ever mentioned in the Bible: You-Are-The-God-Who-Sees (Gen 16:13). To mark that place of revelation, she named the well where she encountered God, Beer Lahai Roi which means “Well of the One Who lives and sees me” (Gen 16:14). This is really significant considering Hagar’s exposure to the many gods in Egypt. Unlike these that she had grown up with, this God is alive and sees!
Before there was ever anything close to Face Recognition Software, God was already identifying each person and knowing everyone by name. Yes, my friend. God is looking at you. He knows exactly where you are and how you are doing. He knows your every need and He sees your every tear. Yes, God looks and sees everything but He is not spying on you or to catch you out that He might knock you on the head the moment you veer from His ways. On the contrary, He loves you and desires that you get on the right path that leads to life eternal through Jesus Christ. He looks so He can find us in our loneliest moments. He looks so He can reach us and restore us. He looks so He can lead, guide and direct us. How awesome is that?
Psalm 135:15-17 says, “The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they do not speak; Eyes they have, but they do not see; They have ears, but they do not hear; nor is there any breath in their mouths.” I am so glad I do not worship a god like that. Instead, I have a God who sees, who watches over me and looks upon me with love and care; and I wouldn’t trade that for anything else.