The Preacher Says....  
  The Eyes of the Lord  
  In 19th century America it was not odd to see Thou God Seest Me embroidered and hung like a tapestry, perhaps to terrify little boys and girls and sometimes men and women. The phrase conjures up visions of a wrathful and vengeful God, taking note of our misdeeds. In childhood it is supposed to discourage smoking behind the garage; in adults to deter from more sophisticated sins. As a Christian motto it has not been very effective or maybe it has been more effective than we know.

Today we live in a nominally Christian society where obscenity passes for wit and blasphemy is a jocular pastime where God Himself is flouted. Vice shouts her maniac mirth are lines from an old hymn describing a world gone mad. Entertainment reviews, People magazine, and many news events all underline this fact.

We must not forget that God is watching. We are so busy worrying about our own business and pleasure we are too surfeited to know He is there. Sometimes we are put off by reminders that we ought to remember that His gaze is ever present. When judging others we must be careful. Thou God seest me is a long way from knowing God's mind.

I don't want to strike terror in your heart when I say God sees you. It was not said by Hagar in that context (Gen 16. 1 - 7). She was more sinned against than sinner, and very frightened. Hagar was alone, afraid and afflicted in the wilderness, and God saw her and helped her. May I suggest that from this instance and others like it we can draw out the underlying theme in the Bible to which all others are subordinate? The basic theme is not the Kingdom, not the Resurrection, not the fact that God gave His only begotten son. The underlying theme is that we are not alone. Of all the afflictions of man, the worst is loneliness. Man is a social animal. Psychologists tell us of the terrible effects of prolonged solitary confinement. Living alone in isolation is the most pitiful aspect of old age, condescended to and ignored.

Some people are able to not feel alone while being alone, i.e. a crafter who makes miniature furniture 9 hours a day, or a Thoreau living his naturalistic philosophy. At the last, however, loneliness comes to all. At the end, alone in that 'rror of great darkness' dreamt about by Abraham, is the time when Thou God seest me offers the most comforting sentence in scripture. He sees, He hears. We want the same feeling that Jesus had when he said that 'He that sent me is with me'. The Father has not left me alone.

Don't feel guilty if you don't now feel that God is watching you. We're not talking about striving for something now, or even most of the time. Striving fosters strife. Don't labor to make it happen, just let it happen. And when it happens, make note of it, enjoy it. It can become a way of life almost unconsciously. Think of it in some mundane or ridiculous circumstance, that God sees you and you feel His presence. Some of us have an inability to feel that God answers prayer; others feel that almost every prayer is answered. Remember, the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much, so we're not talking about how active or inactive He is. God is there and He cares.

Most important of all, don't be afraid to remind yourself that He is present when you have sinned. After all, God through Christ has declared you righteous. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. They don't go away; they don't stop. He simply declares them non-existent. If your faith begins with Thou God seest me, we are told we have a high priest who understands our infirmities, and we are admonished to come boldly to the throne of grace for help in time of need. (Heb 4. 14).

Man fears being alone in the dark and lost. We are not alone, because God sees and hears us. God said to David (Ps 139) that He (God) has made the darkness light. How? By sending the light of the world "His son" who has found us and who will never lose or forsake the sheep that were lost. And he is with us always, even to the end of the world.