Psalm 94:7-10 “They say, ‘The LORD does not see this; the God of Jacob does not take notice of it.’ 8 Take notice of this, you ignorant people! You fools, when will you understand? 9 Does the One who makes the human ear not hear? Does the one who forms the human eye not see? 10 He is the One Who imparts knowledge to human beings!
Jeremiah 23:23-24 “‘Do you people think that I am some local deity and not the transcendent God?’ the Lord asks. ‘Do you really think anyone can hide himself where I cannot see him?’ the LORD asks. ‘Do you not know that I am everywhere?’ the LORD asks.”
Psalm 14:2 The LORD looks down from heaven at the human race, to see if there is anyone who is wise and seeks God.
Psalm 33:14 “From his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth.”
Romans 1:18-20 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people who suppress the truth by their unrighteousness. 19 Because what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made, so people are without excuse.”
The riveting and terrifying scene from Lord of the Rings in which Frodo and Sam are walking through Mordor trying to end their quest to destroy the ring and its pervasive evil is heightened by the presence of “the eye” who is supposedly able to see all. Yet, when the protagonist ducks, somehow he escapes the notice of this supposedly all-knowing, all-seeing god, which is representative of Satan. Not so with God. Unlike the eye of evil Sauron, who ultimately perishes, our God Who lives forever does truly see all.
Extremely grateful that God saw, noticed and saved me, I am simultaneously humbled that He does indeed see all. He is not how those who do not know Him perceive Him – looking for an opportunity to crush us, or the opposite, liberal grace, winking his eye, saying it is okay to rationalize and live for the flesh. He is ever watchful, seeing if any might come to repentance. What patience, what longsuffering, what goodness and holiness is the character of our living God! When we did not meet His righteous requirements, He met them for us. When we continued in our rebellion, He punished us in love, hoping to open our eyes. Still, we often choose not to see that He sees all.
The other day, one of my children said to me that he wished God would be as tangible to us today as He was in the Old Testament. God appeared in miraculous ways – a burning bush, a voice, sat and dined with Moses, Aaron, Nadab and Abihu (Exodus 24:9), and countless other interactions with Israel’s leaders and prophets. Why does God choose to be seemingly invisible today? The passage in Romans 1 makes it clear that God is very evident today, but He chose today to reveal Himself to us now through the Holy Spirit. It is by faith that the righteous shall live (Romans 1:17), yet God reveals Himself to those who will draw near. In this is a mystery – He is ever-present, and yet we need to seek Him to find Him. His ways are not our ways.
Our perception is that a Ruler would make His presence known. Israel was looking for a king to set things straight and rule. But our King instead chooses to die for His subjects and rule in our hearts, not a worldly throne. He has us as His feet and hands and grants us free will to choose how we ought to live. We might wish that God would demonstrate His presence bodily and eradicate all evil in this world, but we would be part of that eradication, too. Oh, the wisdom and mercy of our living God. He knows that none could ever be made righteous apart from Him, and although He truly sees all and appears disinterested with inaction, He is moving in mighty ways we cannot see in the spiritual realm. Do not be mistaken – God does not tolerate evil. The existence of evil is not condoned by God, and He will bring everything to account, but He will also have the precious blood of the Lamb covering those Who accept His free gift of atonement.
May the truth of God’s ability to see and know all convict us to repent and live in a manner that is pleasing to Him. There is no fear in God’s love – perfect love casts out fear – but there is incredible grace and beauty in the knowledge of His accountability and a standard of holiness. When we know we will be called to account, we stop quieting the convicting voice and start putting to death the misdeeds of the body. He is watching you. Will you draw near?
Oh, God, I am so amazed at You! Thank You for Your mercy! Your ways are so high above our ways. Grant us understanding so we might live fruitful lives here in the fear of the LORD. Help us to be Your voice in this generation and to open the eyes of all we encounter to You, wonderful You!