“Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.” – Psalm 17:8
Some days we wonder if God sees us. From small inconveniences to overwhelming circumstances, we feel targeted and persecuted, possibly forgotten, and overlooked in our hearts. Does God notice what is happening, we wonder? Can He see me?
David, chosen by God to be king, felt that way often as he was hunted and persecuted by Saul. Yet, he never doubted that God called him "the apple of his eye." David believed God could see him, provided for, and protected him.
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What Does “the Apple of His Eye” Mean?
In Psalm 17, David pleads for God's attention and protection under attack. In verse 7, he writes, "Show me the wonders of your great love, you who save by your right hand," and in verse 8, David begs, "Keep me as the apple of your eye." In other words, "Guard me as you would your own precious sight."
The first line of verse 8 translates, "Guard me as the pupil, the daughter of the eye." "Pupil" in Hebrew is "little man." The center of your eye reflects the person it sees. That is to say that a tiny reflection of the object of your attention appears in your pupil. When God looks at His children, we are reflected in His eyes. We are a tiny reflection of His vision. We are "the apple of His eye."
In Deuteronomy 32:10, the people of Israel are also called "the apple of His eye." When the people of Israel reached the Promised Land and Moses turns over leadership to Joshua, Moses recalls the story of God's people. Called the Song of Moses, the people are reminded of God's protection and provision in the desert. In the desert, he found them in a barren and howling waste. He shielded and cared for them. He guarded the people as "the apple of his eye."
Today, God calls you "the apple of His eye." You are seen and known and the object of His affection. He regards you as precious in His own sight.
Here are 10 reasons God calls you “the apple of His eye.”
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1. He Loves You
One of the best examples of God's love for you is Christ. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” You were the center of God's attention, even when you were living in sin. He has never taken His eyes off you. As a Christian, He sees you as His own. Through Jesus, your Heavenly Father adopted you into His family. You are his child, and He enjoys watching you grow and mature in faith.
2. He Wants to Protect You
The eye is one of the most delicate parts of the body. Imagine how a tiny grain of sand can irritate the eye to the point of pain. As the object of God's gaze, He will protect you with all his power. He is your warrior. “The Lord, your God, is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.” (Zephaniah 3:17)
3. He Desires to Provide for You
If God knows when one sparrow falls from the sky, God is aware of your needs, and He is more than able to provide. Psalm 107:9 says, “For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” God possesses abundant resources and answers to your practical needs. He owns cattle on a thousand hills. However, not all good things are food and drink, riches and wealth. God provides wisdom, strength, and righteousness and through His Son, Jesus, salvation.
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4. He Sees Your Struggles
Sarah's servant, Hagar, was the first to call God, El Roi, The God Who Sees. He sees your suffering and pain, like Hagar's, as well as your joys and triumphs. “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him” (2 Chronicles 16:9). You are the apple of God's eye because He cannot take his eyes off you.
5. He Has Great Plans for You
In Jeremiah 29:11, God tells the exiled Israelites, "for I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a future.” His beloved people turned away, yet He had plans for their future. If you are far from God, he sees you and wants good for you. Even when you turn away from Him like the Israelites, His plans for you do not change. You are at the center of His attention, and His plans for you will be completed.
6. He Holds You Close
For your reflection to appear in God's eyes, you must be close. No matter how far you stray, He is close. We move away, but God remains near. “That they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27). To keep His eyes on you, God remains near.
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7. He Knows You
God is aware of everything about you. That can be frightening at first, God knowing your every thought and action. He does, yet He continues to keep us in His gaze. David understood that there was no escaping God's vision. David wrote about God's attention to His children in Psalm 139, “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.” He knows your thoughts. God knows your habits and what you say. His eye is continually watching over you. That is more than we can comprehend. “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain” (Psalm 139:6).
8. You Are His Child
When my children were young, I kept a close watch on them, wanting to keep them safe and provide for their needs. They were the objects of my attention. You are God's child, and He watches over you in the same way. “For in Christ Jesus, you are all sons of God, through faith” (Galatians 3:26). He keeps you safe, provides for your needs, gives guidance and wisdom through the Holy Spirit, and loves you with faithful love.
9. He Created You
Before God formed the foundation of the earth, He knew you. He could see every moment of your life before you took your first breath. Psalm 139:13 reminds us, “you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb.” God keeps you as the apple of His eye because He created you, and throughout your life, He is shaping you into a masterpiece. “For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago" (Ephesians 2:10 NLT).
10. You Are His Image
Not only are you created by God, but He also made you in his image. You are created to reflect the glory of God. Is that to say that when God looks at you, He sees himself? Not exactly. What He sees is what you will become. You are being transformed into the image of the One who created you. "And to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness" (Ephesians 4:24).
When you feel like the world is against you, and it seems you are overlooked and possibly forgotten, remember, dear friends, El Roi, the God Who Sees, is watching you. You are the object of His affection and adoration. He remembers you and keeps you "as the apple of His eye."
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Originally published Tuesday, 15 September 2020.