Some people make Christianity sound like a complex set of rules; others describe believers as an elitist group or cult. Yet if we Christians were to truly follow our Lord’s commandments, the world would see the essence of our religion summed up in the words of Jesus, “The first of all the commandments is: “‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’” He went on to say, “This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.’”
Perhaps the world is hard pressed to see a Christian live out these simple commands, at least on a day to day basis. For daily, we live in a fallen world where the public eye is more important than the covenant our God and Savior made with us. We, like Laban, have found ourselves worried that God is not trustworthy.
Trust was certainly a sore issue in Genesis 31. Laban was worried that Jacob was not trustworthy, and Jacob also distrusted Laban to keep his vow of peace. Both developed a plan to protect their interests even when no one was looking. (Genesis 31:49.) Jacob built a memorial out of stones in the place where he and Laban made a vow to never cross the boundary lines with evil intent, only to do commerce or visit. This place was called Mizpah which means Outlook Point or Watchtower. Knowing that when no one is watching, man may not hold to the agreed terms, Jacob told Laban these words, “May the Lord watch between you and me when we are absent one from another…although no man is with us –see, God is witness between you and me!”
I work with clients, some of whom have legal issues and are thus on court supervision – probation, house arrest, etc. What most have told me is that staying out of trouble is easier when they are under supervision because they believe there are ‘eyes’ watching them all the time. Is it paranoia to believe that someone is watching over you? A believer knows that God watches us all. That fact should not make us shudder. Ultimately, my sins are against God and His commandments to love Him and to love others. Yet, where else can I bring my failures to light in hope of redemption, if not before my Savior, Christ Jesus who has already taken the punishment for those sins and nailed them to a cross? Should I fear the One who made this covenant with me and who sealed it with His own blood? Or can I rest in the knowledge that God watches over me to do me good?
Psalm of trust – “In the Lord I put my trust; How can you say to my soul, Flee as a [helpless] bird…” (Psalm 11:1.)
The Lord is in His holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven, His eyes behold…”(Psalm 11:3.) His eyes watch over me. I’m not sure how that affects others, but knowing this comforts me.