The Apple of God’s Eye
The Apple of God’s EyeFor the Lord’s portion is His people, Jacob his allotted inheritance: in a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of His eye, (Deut 32:9,10)
The phrase ‘apple of the eye’ is used in scripture 4 times, and the meaning it communicates is worth noting. In the verse above, the writer tells us how God, after he had found Jacob(Israel, his chosen race)guarded him as the apple of His eye.
The psalmist used the same words in his 17th psalm when he prayed ‘Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings’- Psalm 17:8. And then the prophet said in Zechariah 2:8 of the children of Zion that ‘this is what the Lord Almighty says….’’for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye…’
Now clearly in all the above scriptures the reference is to God protecting us ‘as the apple of His eye ‘That is how precious we are to Him. The psalmist should have known,-and I think this a lot of times when I read the psalms-he should have known that most of the prayers he prayed were really unnecessary, because he was constantly asking God to do that which He was already doing. But that is another lesson for another day. Anyway the fact is, each one of us is precious to God, and He guards us as the apple of His eye.
Now I am no medical scientist, but I know from experience that there is an ‘auto- prompt’ that closes my eyes whenever any external object comes close, and I am aware that the same thing happens with all creatures that have eyes. And while the point is not about eyes, God makes us understand that we are so precious to Him that He always protects us from all harm without prompting-that’s part of His business, He watches over us. And that’s why He purchased us with the ultimate price, the life of His only begotten Son, because we are precious to Him.
The 4th reference however teaches a different lesson, and I would like us to learn that as well. Proverbs 7:2 says ‘Keep my commands and you will live, guard my teachings as the apple of your eye’.
The roles have been reversed here, God is no longer doing the guarding, rather we are. And what are we guarding? His teachings, His commands, His word. In other words, the same way that God holds us dear to himself, he wants us to hold His Word dear to us; to value it as precious to us. In fact He lets us know that by keeping His word, we‘ll live. That is to say we should treat His word as if our lives depend on it, for indeed they do. In Him(the Word)we live, move and have our being.
So,God has given you life, and He guards you as the apple of His eye. But if you want to live, really live, you must guard his teaching as the apple of your eye.