As we have seen, many spiritual lessons can be learned and applied from “Thoughts on Vision” In fact, the Scripture speaks often about the eye and seeing and looking—physically, mentally, and metaphorically.
Like all parts of the human anatomy the eyes can be used for good or evil. In fact, our Lord taught the great importance of this organ of our body when He said,
“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matt. 6:22-23)
What we set our sights on determines our character to a great extent. If we focus on earthly and evil things, our body will “be full of darkness.” On the other hand, if our eye is concentrated on heavenly and spiritual truths, our body will be “full of light.” Notice the great contrast, “full of darkness” versus “full of light.” Light is absolutely necessary to see properly, in fact, to see at all!
There are so many things to see in the world, some of it is good, much of it is evil. Knowing that the devil is the “god of this world” (system) we can expect many attractive and appealing sights. In 1 John 2:15-17, we are given loving, but stern warning to:
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”
We are told to “love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.” Then the world and its “things” are categorized into three parts:
- Lust of the flesh
- Lust of the eyes
- Pride of life
These things comprise the sum total of the world’s attractions. These are the areas that are appealed to by the world’s system. Most advertisement, entertainment, and literature is directed to all of us for the purpose of influencing our choices and controlling our lives. One of these three, the lust of the eyes, plays a major role in our choices and activities. Consider Eve in the garden of Eden. The subtlety of Satan is shown in many ways as he cast doubt upon God’s Word and then finally an outright denial of what God had said. The fruit of the tree that God placed in the midst of the garden was declared off limits to our first parents. In fact, God said,
“And the Lord God, commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Gen. 2:16-17)
Then the devil said,
“Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (Gen. 3:4)
Notice the reference to the “eyes” and then in verse 6, we read “then the woman saw the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes.” Then in verse seven, we see that “both their eyes were opened; and they knew they were naked.”
An outstanding example of the “lust of the eyes” is that concerning Abraham and Lot in Genesis, chapter 13. We are told that Abraham and Lot had a problem concerning the land, cattle, and their substance. Abraham, in the Spirit of the Lord said to Lot, “separate thyself I pray thee from me: if thou will take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.” Then we are told in Gen. 13:10
“And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld the plains of Jordan that it was well watered everywhere—”.
Notice, Lot lifted up his eyes and beheld. The lust of the eyes got him into trouble and we know the rest of the story. These examples could be duplicated many, many, times in the records of Scripture, both old and new testaments. How true and representative they are of the human race in general and of each of us, personally!
Ye dwellers in darkness with sin-blinded eyes,
The Light of the world is Jesus;
Go, wash, at His bidding, and Light will arise,
The Light of the world is Jesus.
Come to the Light, ’tis shining for thee;
Sweetly the Light has dawned upon me;
Once I was blind, but now I can see;
The Light of the world is Jesus.