Sunday, April 15, 2012

Apples and Eyes

Apples and Eyes
April 16, 2012
Psalm 17:8 "Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings. . ."

The human eye is made up of complex muscles and nerves used for vision. The pupil of the eye is what lets light into the lens of the eye; it is the black dot in the center. The iris is the colored part of the eye surrounding the pupil; it is also a muscle. The iris has two functions: it controls how much light is allowed through the pupil to the lens, and it also protects the pupil. The eye is extremely critical to the body so the Lord created involuntary responses in our systems to protect it. If a foreign object comes toward the eye, the body will naturally do whatever it takes to protect the eye from coming into contact with that object. You've undoubtedly felt this response before, if your eye has been threatened by a small pointy thing. Your eyelids shut tightly, your head turns away, and your body moves position. This all happens without you thinking about it just to protect your eye from damage or harm.

It's good that the body protects the eye, since eyes are good for seeing things, especially tasty apples. Adam and Eve saw the fruit in the Garden of Eden; they saw it with their own eyes. They saw that it was good and valuable for something. Over the years, we have come to familiarize ourselves with that story and equate that tempting fruit as being an apple. While it is not known exactly what type of fruit it really was, many have referred to it as an apple and associated it with a covetous desire for what the eye sees; the object of one's affection. Some call this the "apple of the eye." I would disagree with this definition however, and suggest that the "apple of the eye" refers more to the pupil or the physical center of the human eye.

Whenever the Bible uses the phrase "apple of the eye," it is referring to an involuntary response of protection over something, akin to what the human body would do to protect the eye. In my own life, the "apple of my eye" would certainly be my own eyes, but it would also be my children. My children are not simply the objects of my affection, which is akin to infatuation, a fleeting feeling. My children, and I have four of them, are something that I would physically protect from harm out of an involuntary response. My wife, who was once the object of my affection before we were married, has now become the apple of my eye. I am their protector and I would do anything and everything to keep them from harm's way, even if it meant sacrificing my own body so that they may live. And I would do it all without even thinking about it; it is an instinctive response the Lord instilled into my behavior.

The Lord is our Heavenly Father, and His children are the "apples of His eyes." This means that the Lord is intent on our immediate protection. We are not simply the objects of His affection but are critical and important to Him, valuable enough to protect without aforethought. While you may not think of yourself as a child, the Lord considers you His and would do more to protect you than I am capable of doing for my own children. He naturally wants to protect you from harm, from the attacks that would seek to destroy you. He sent His son to protect your soul from Hell and He sent His Spirit and angels to protect you from what this world wants to do to you. He loves you and desires to protect you as much as your own body wants to protect the center of your eye.

King David understood this concept of protection versus affection when he prayed the words to the Lord, "Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings." If you read the verse before and after these words in his prayer (Ps 17), it alltogether reads:
"Show me the wonders of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes. Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings from the wicked who are out to destroy me, from my mortal enemies who surround me.

But there is a caveat to gaining His protection as being the "apple of His eye." You have to be His child.

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Deut 32:9-11, Ps 17:7-9, Pr 7:2, Zech 2:8, Rom 8:17

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