I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
I've always been told that I have my Daddy's eyes. Clear blue. Squinting nearly closed when I laugh. Piercing when I am focused. Revealing my heart...always.
My Daddy's eyes are closed now but they were always looking out for me. "Be careful," he would call, when I tell headed to the store. "Do you need some help unloading?" upon my return. And, every day, several times a day, "Are all the babies OK?" (And I know he meant especially baby girl Mary Alice).
Protective . Helpful . Compassionate . My father's eyes.
My Father's eyes.
What does it mean that His eye is upon me?
I think first that it means He protects me. Just like my earthly Daddy was always interested in my protection. And like when I tell Chip to keep an eye out for his baby sister. I want him to take care of her. Make sure she's safe. And secure. Especially in unfamiliar surroundings.
Unlike earthly protection, though, my Heavenly Father is omnipotent and omniscient. He is capable beyond any earthly power and He knows my needs for security and defense far more than I know myself. He is my shield and protector and no one and no circumstance can touch me without the express consent of His sovereign loving eye. Ever.
My Father's eye upon me also means that He is there to help me. Yes, to instruct and to guide but also to help me go in the way I should. Help to do the right things. Help to carry the loads He assigns. Help to turn away from the ways I should NOT go. In the same way that my Daddy is continually looking for ways to help me...and yet with Divine Power and Knowledge and Love.
So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6) Because He has His eye upon me, His omniscient, omnipotent, loving eye, I do not worry about my life. Not my people, nor my to do list, nor my needs. He is my helper.
Consider these two passages: God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1) and 2 Chronicles 16:9 - For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is perfect toward Him
WOW! Aren't those so very powerful? He is right there - present - in my troubles, ready to help, able to help, longing to help. And on top of that, He is always looking for ways to show Himself strong on my behalf! Unfathomable!
My favorite thoughts about what it means for my Father's eye to be upon me is the same favorite I have about my Daddy. Compassion. My Daddy...and my Heavenly Abba...care what happens to me. The matters of my heart matter to them both.
Zechariah 2:8 puts it this way - for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye.
The apple of His eye. Connoting tenderness, affection, being cherished.
Now neither my earthly Father nor my Heavenly One have favorites....but amazingly they are able to make each child feel as though they are. Cherished. Treasured. Held dear.
And, just like my reaction when something pokes the center of my own eye, if something...or someone...does me harm, my Father rapidly and powerfully responds to remove the offender, to soothe the hurt, and to prevent recurrence. I'm the apple of His eye.
One last thing.
In the context of this verse, I wonder if there is another layer of meaning. Something additional the psalmist wants to convey. He speaks of the Lord teaching us, instructing us, guiding us in the way to go.
Maybe, just maybe, He is telling us that we will know what to do, where to go, how to be, by watching our Father's eyes. Just like a quarterback can telegraph a pass by looking at his intended receiver, maybe we can discern what God wants us to do by looking at what His eyes are focused on.
What situation needs our attention. What wrong needs to be made right. What person needs our concern.
Watch His eyes.
Then go towards what He has set them on.