Believers in Christ are given a promise that God will keep us as the apple of His eye. What does this mean?
How can we use that as an image to visualize, and spend time with God?
The word apple here is a Hebrew word that comes from another Hebrew word which means "little man of the eye", the pupil of the eye, black, obscure. In Hebrew culture, it's also known as the "daughter of the eye", i.e. "the little man of the eye".
"Keep me as the apple of your eye" is an expression of ancient prayer, but it's probably better known as an idiom to express how we treasure and passionately protect a loved one.
If you ask people what it means, most people would describe it as a term of endearment, versus a description of God's love for them or as a prayer on their lips. You've probably heard it used to describe a parent's love for a child. "Oh, she's the apple of her father's eye, he would do anything for her!"
True it is a term of endearment. But originally in its truest context, it is a divine expression. It is a child-like cry for God's help. It is a returned response from a covenant keeping God, with fatherly love and radical protection of His own!
Moses use this language in song. King David also uses this language in song. Two warriors of God not afraid to be childlike in God's presence, asking God to keep them as the apple of His eye!
In Deuteronomy 32, we can find the expression in a song that Moses wrote. See verse 10. It includes this lyric, "in a desert land, he found him in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him, He guarded him as the apple of His eye."
This is referencing God's tender care for His people. Moses could easily reflect on God finding him in his own desert wilderness. God calling to Moses from a burning bush, Exodus 3:1-3.
We hear the apple of His eye language again in Proverbs 7:2 through Solomon. He writes the following wisdom... "Keep my commandments and live, my law as the apple of your eye."
And of course, we have King David in Psalm 17:8 asking God... singing to God...to keep him as the apple of His eye.
Now, you probably know that the apple of your eye, the pupil of your eye, the black of your eye, is like a mirror. And this is where if you were to get your face close enough to a mirror, and get so close (in just the right light) and center in on one of your pupils... And look intently, you'd be able to see a tiny obscure reflection of yourself within the blackness of your pupil.
And if you were to do this exercise with a loved one, when you drew near to their face, and you looked at the center of their eye, into their pupil, you wouldn't see their reflection, you would see an outline of your own reflection. Think about that. How does that speak to you?
When you get so close to someone and look at them in the center of their eye, in their pupil and see your own reflection?
In holy covenant relationship, when you gaze this close to someone's eyes, there's trust, there is deep love. There is a softening, someone you deeply treasure. The one that you're willing to get that close to and linger there, is one you love without adequate words to express. You are wanting to look closely and find your reflection in their eyes.
Now let's think of that exercise in God's presence. Getting our face so close to Jesus, that we can see the pupils of His eyes. What is the reflection? First can you see yourself held within his gaze? Can you look closer and see that the reflection within the center of His pupil is you?
Maybe that's a difficult visualization for you. Imagining being that close to the face of Jesus. Maybe it makes you feel a little uncomfortable being that close to Him, because you feel like you're not good enough or you've failed.
That's a wrong perspective.
Because if Jesus is that close to you to look into your eyes, who's reflecting back to him?
If you get that answer, right, that is the heart of the gospel, that's a saving grace of the gospel!
Jesus, seeing himself in the center of your eye, is the Gospel! Christ in you, the hope of glory!
He see himself in you, because you've been made in the image of God! He sees himself in you because you have believed in Him! So now you are joined to the Lord, you are one Spirit with him, that you are the temple of the Holy Spirit. He is in you!
Ephesians 2:10 in the New Living Translation says that you are God's masterpiece that He created you anew in Christ Jesus, so that you can do good things that He planned for you long ago.
He created you for GOOD THINGS.
Your identity needs to be deeply rooted in the fact that He created you for good, and that when you draw near to Him, He draws near to you.
And when He's looking at you that closely, He's seeing himself. He's seeing you as a masterpiece, that was created anew (born again) for good, to do good things that He planned long ago.
Take some time to envision Jesus that close to you, where you are both able to see one another's reflections in the center of your eyes. Consider that as you look at Him, you can see yourself held. You are the apple of His eye, He gave his life for you! How great is the sum of his thoughts towards you? To do good to you and not evil?
He commands us to stay close to Him to abide in His love, to abide in His word. When we do so, our prayers are God-aligned, a reflection of Him. We can ask whatever we wish and it will be done for us, John 15:7!
But if we walk away, if we stay distant from God, can you really see yourself as a reflection in His eyes? No, because He is too far away. Can you see Him clearly or know Him intimately when you don't abide in His Word? No.
We need to remain close in fellowship with Jesus. We have been called to die to this life because our real life is hidden with Christ and God, Colossians 3:3.
So take time to envision you seeing yourself in the pupil of His eye. And then switch it, and imagine Him seeing His reflection in your eye.
"Lord would you reveal mysteries of the Gospel to this one, as they envision themselves as the apple of Your eye? To see that they're held, how they're kept, how they're protected? Reveal to them that when You look at them, you are not looking at their flaws, but You in them. They are complete. You see the end from the beginning. You see the good purpose for which you've created them. Stir them to deeper fellowship, to discovery of the good things you've prepared for them. Root them in the fact that you see Yourself in them. And You don't destroy yourself! You don't harm yourself! God bring revelation that You long to do good things to them, things that You've prepared long ago, good and holy works for them to do. Their life is important; and, has divine design within it. You're transforming them, you're making them a greater reflection of Yourself because You are in them! May this one abide in you, and your Word for the supernatural revelation and transformation you promise. Amen!"
I'm not proud of my old life. And I'm also not proud of some things in my life after Christ, even up unto the last several months. Things that cause us shame can be a continuous onslaught against the vitality Christ promises.
I don't discuss my shame with most others because I don't want to be associated with that part of my former life, or viewed by others through those past/current failures.
Being in ministry full-time, I have to give testimony. So I speak about my life experiences in general terms. I admit being in dangerous and abusive relationships, worshipping false idols, experiencing deep depression, being self-absorbed, trapped for too long in strongholds built by intimidating people that successfully coerced me to do their bidding through gaslighting tactics and deflecting their shame on me.
Life is messy. The warfare is real. The onslaught intense.
Is this resonating?
There have been many layers of shame to heal in me, and, for protection, I do hide those details from others.
But I don't hide them from Jesus.
From my experience, few others can be trusted to NOT use my shame against me.
But Christ CAN BE trusted to NEVER humiliate and expose me and heap abuses upon me.
He has a clear promise that those who look to Him, their faces are radiant✨. Their faces are NEVER covered in shame, Psalm 34:5.
What is this radiance the psalmist speaks of? It is likened to the dancing sheen of a flowing stream, i.e. the life forces of God flowing within, shining through you, beaming as an unquenchable light, reflecting like a sparkle, being cheerful.
Is this what you see when you catch your reflection unexpectedly?
Too many draw back or hide from God because they believe His gaze upon them is a microscopic view to magnify every flaw. Many feel dirty or unworthy, far from radiant.
What about you?
Do you feel the weight of guilt and shame at the mention of God? Afraid, the nearer you get to His presence, the heat of condemnation, the "ick" of sin will be a stench that rises?
Many feel this especially if in an active stronghold of sin. So to avoid perceived disappointment and expected chastisement from God, we wrongly reason that by staying away, the crippling feelings of shame will diminish. But, the opposite is true, it is only exacerbated.
Distance doesn't heal. Distance doesn't erase reality. Distance doesn't cover the skeletons in the closet of your soul that travel with you. Distance is death-knell to healing shame. It only perverts your perceptions of who He is.
"Who He is? Don't you mean who we are?"
God's word reveals to us that shame is not healed by looking more closely at our flaws. Shame is healed by seeking Him, asking to be rescued, by taking our eyes off ourselves and looking at Him.
Psalm 34:4-5 I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
Look to Him. Take your eyes off your shame and instead look at His. His?! YES!
Hebrews 12:2- Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the SHAME, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
He endured YOUR shame, walked out a sentence of humiliating exposure before God the Father and his enemies and casual observers and family and friends and followers. His shame trumps all other shame.
Yet He despised it, thinking little or nothing of it. His eye was on seeing you set free. Jesus was focused on the joy of you being healed, of His radiance✨ resting on your face!
So if trapped by shame, realize the path to freedom is drawing near to the face of Jesus and looking closely at the details of His sacrifice for you. He will heal you and set your free!
Click here to listen to Thoughtful Thursday's episode on Psalm 34:4-7. Those who look to Him are radiant!
Draw near! Practice His presence! Use the simple prayer exercises available Monday through Friday on PEACE BE STILL DAILY PRAYER DOWNLOAD to see Him more clearly. The podcast is found on all podcast and music apps! 80% of our listeners use Apple podcasts to listen, then Podbean, then Spotify! Blessings in His presence!
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Hi my name is Gina; and I'm the founder of the ministry. My 25 year journey with God has been centered on immersing myself in the safe relationship God offers, learning about the power of surrender, and praying for His life in greater measure!