Shelby G. Floyd
It is so good to be before you today to worship with you, and with those of our brothers and sisters that are worshiping from their home. We thank you for your interest and your devotion to Almighty God. We are thankful that we do have that anchor of the soul that keeps us on the right path, and we are glad that we have the opportunity to sing and to praise our God who lives and abides forever.
Today I’m speaking to you on the subject, The All Seeing Eye. I have never presented this lesson before and so I have been excited about studying and preparing to present it to you. The text that was just read from Psalms 139 actually introduces this lesson. Psalms 139 is one of my favorite Psalms and you’ll notice verses one through six actually describes the omniscience of God—He knows everything! Verses seven through 12 reveals the omnipresence of God—He is everywhere; and verses 13 through 18 expresses the omnipotence of God—He is all powerful! He is everywhere and He is all knowing! So that’s the God that we serve and that’s the God that we were praising in our song service today
I would like for all of you to take out a dollar bill and just hold onto it for a while. I hope all of you have one and if you don’t just see Mick because he is loaded! But just keep the dollar bill handy because we will talk about it a little bit during the course of this lesson.
Years ago I don’t particularly remember singing this song, but I know a lot of the old timers remember the song. It was called Watching You and it was written by a preacher named R. E. Winsett, and the song was describing the text and the subject that I’m discussing today—The All Seeing Eye. The first verse goes like this and will give you the idea of how this song would relate to the subject:
All along on the road to the soul’s true abode,
There’s an Eye watching you.
Every step that you take this great Eye is awake,
There’s an Eye watching you.
Everyday mind the course you pursue;
Watching you, watching you,
There’s an all-seeing Eye watching you.
I have been fascinated with what looks like a Big Eye on the screen. With the giant telescopes that we have today they can aim those things out into the universe and see things that we don’t see when we’re setting in the backyard on a starry night. Although it looks like a big giant EYE, I use that as the symbol for the All Seeing Eye of God. Now a lot of people didn’t like that song because they felt like it portrayed God as The Giant Policeman in the Sky, that’s just watching and waiting to catch you doing something wrong and punish you. But that’s the wrong idea because according to the scriptures Almighty God sees the good and the bad. And he wants to do good for us and not just bad. God is a just God; God is a loving God; God is a God of grace; and God is merciful and loving. Therefore today we are going to see that God has a many sided nature.
Now somebody penned these words one time about the All Seeing Eye of God:
For God our maker, ever nigh,
Surveys us with a watchful eye;
Our every thought and act he knows,
From early dawn to daylight’s close.
We want to explore seven scriptures that indicate that the All Seeing Eye of God is in the plural—the All Seeing Eyes of God.
SEVEN BIBLICAL STATEMENTS ABOUT GOD’S ALL SEEING EYES
Now the title of this lesson is the All Seeing Eye, but when I started examining the Scriptures, eye is always in the plural–the All Seeing Eyes of God! We are made in God’s image, and we don’t look like one of those space characters with one eye. We have two eyes. We don’t know what God looks like for the Bible says no man has seen God at any time. Moses wanted to see God and he showed him his backside, but would not show his face. There is a spiritual body according to first Corinthians 15 and there is a physical body. We are physical beings; God is a spiritual being, and what He looks like I don’t know. But when I examined the Bible I found that just like us, it’s God’s All Seeing Eyes, plural.
1. God’s Eyes are Strong and Loyal!
Now I want to talk to you about those “eyes!” In second Chronicles 16:1-9, we have the record of God sending a seer—they called a prophet a seer at that time. God sent Hanani the seer to speak to Asa, King of Judah. King Asa basically was a good king for the most part. He had served God faithfully and always did the right thing, but even the best of people mess up sometimes, and that’s exactly what had happened to Asa toward the end of his life.
Hanani came to Asa and reminded him how God had given him a great victory when he had relied upon God to help him defeat his enemy: “Were the Ethiopians and the Lubim not a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet, because you relied on the Lord, He delivered them into your hand” (2 Chronicles 16:8).
But now, Baasha King of Israel came up and started building at Ramah on the land of Judah and King Asa didn’t like that, so he went and formed a partnership with Benhadad King of Syria. Syria has always been among a perennial enemy of the Jewish people, so he went up and formed a league with the Benhadad and asked him to break his covenant with Baasha the King of Israel. He promised to give him some gold out of his house and some gold even from the Lord’s house. And yes, the King of Syria broke his covenant with Baasha King of Israel and they were able to drive him back to his territory.
But that is when Hanani the seer came to him and spoke the key words that describe the All Seeing Eye of God:
“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 loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars” (2 Chronicles 16:9).
Take note of what Hanani said, “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 loyal to him.” Now there’s a thought for us to think about. Are you loyal to the Lord throughout the week or just on Sunday? God sees what’s going on if we act like we are so loyal and through the week we are disloyal! But when we’re loyal to him, God is looking for people that are loyal and He is strong on their behalf. So the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, and He sees everything that’s going on, He sees those that are loyal and He sees the disloyal. God noticed when King Asa had been a loyal servant and he saw when he stopped relying upon the Lord. God’s all seeing eyes saw King Asa relying upon the King of Syria to help them out instead of God.
That is when Hanani said, “In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars” (2 Chronicles 16:9). In others words, “He said because you’ve acted this way you will have wars the rest your life—you will be fighting all the time. I will bring wars your way because you didn’t rely upon the Lord.”
Do you know what King Asa did to the Hanani the seer? He put him in prison! If one does not like the message you get rid of the messenger. That’s happened quite a few times in history. What about Joseph when he was put in prison because he was loyal? Yes, and what about the apostle Paul at Philippi when he was put in the inner prison with his feet fastened in this stocks? We know that down through the centuries faithful servants of God have been persecuted and have been put in jail. And persecution is going on right now throughout our country. There is a movement against organized religion and churches, and their not being treated the same way that they treat other institutions, and that in spite of the fact that our Constitution guarantees us the freedom to worship God and not answer to the State. Therefore number one, God’s eyes are strong and loyal and they run to and fro throughout the whole earth and see everything that is going on—and they take special notice of those who are loyal to the Lord.
2. God’s Eyes Are Perfect in Watchfulness and Caring
And in the second place, God’s eyes are perfect in watchfulness and caring. In Zechariah 3:9 the prophet said,
For behold, the stone
That I have laid before Joshua:
Upon the stone are seven eyes.
Behold, I will engrave its inscription,’
Says the Lord of hosts,
‘And I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.
Here we have seven eyes mentioned. Seven in the Bible is a symbolic word for completeness. For instance God created the heavens and the earth in six days and He rested the seventh day. A seven day week is a complete unit, and that’s one of the strongest arguments for the inspiration of the Bible that you will ever find. Why is it all over the world we have a seven day week? We have a 365 day year. We have quarters in the year and usually around 30 day months. But these are based upon are the movements of the heavenly bodies. But where did the week come from? The 7 day week is based upon the original creative week in six days and God rested on the seventh day. Literally God created the heavens and earth in six days and rested on the seventh day. Therefore seven stands for completeness and the seven eyes of God stands for complete omniscience. He sees everything and we have already established that, and this just confirms it further.
3. God’s Eyes Globally Scan all Small Things.
Now we will look at another verse in Zechariah 4:10:
For who has despised the day of small things?
For these seven rejoice to see
The plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.
They are the eyes of the Lord,
Which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.”
The prophet asked the question, “For who has despised the day of small things?” Well, a lot of people despise the day of small things, because we love big things, large things, and great things. But don’t despise the day of small things for the seven rejoiced to see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.” Why, because these seven are the eyes of the Lord which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth. When I saw that word “scan” I thought about my computer where you can go to documents and you can put a word in there and it will scan all your documents and bring all of them up for you to see. But the verse says these seven rejoiced to see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel! These seven are the eyes of the Lord and they scan to and fro throughout the whole earth. This is just another way of saying God knows everything that’s going on, you can’t trick God, you cannot lie to him, and you cannot hide from him, because he sees everything that happens on the earth.
4. God’s Eyes Always Look to Bring Justice!
God’s eyes are always looking to bring about justice. God is a just God, He is a loving God, God is full of grace, mercy and forgiveness, but he also is a God of justice. He brings about justice as the prophet said in Amos 9:4:
Though they go into captivity before their enemies,
From there I will command the sword,
And it shall slay them.
I will set My eyes on them for harm and not for good.”
Amos is talking about Israel who went to Babylon into captivity at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar for 70 years. From Babylon God will command the sword and it shall slay them because “I will set my eyes on them for harm and not for good.” Why is God so just? It is because they have not obeyed him, they had strayed away from him and they were practicing all the abominable things that were going on in the nations around them, like idolatry and all kinds of wicked sexual acts. God would set His eyes on them for harm and not good. We should keep that in mind concerning the way that Christians should live today!
5. God’s Eyes and Ears are Always Open to the Cries of the Righteous?
In contrast, God’s eyes and ears are always open to the cries of the righteous. That should be a wonderful promise to all of us today. When we go through some trouble during hard times and you are worried, just remember God’s eyes and ears are always open to the cries of the righteous. Why? Because David exclaimed in Psalms 34:15:
The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry.
The eyes of the Lord are specifically on the righteous and his ears are open to their cry! The eyes of the Lord are providentially caring for His people. What a wonderful promise.
6. God’s Balanced Omniscient Eyes Keep Watch on the Good and the Bad!
God’s balanced eyes keep watch on the good and the bad at all times. This is also a wonderful promise to all of us today. His eyes not only see the bad but also the good. In Proverbs 15:3 the wise man Solomon wrote:
The eyes of the Lord are in every place,
Keeping watch on the evil and the good.
Notice that the eyes of the Lord are in every place keeping watch on the evil and on the good. We see all the bad stuff going on and we have the habit of dwelling on the bad. But God takes notice and sees the good as well as the bad. God is always balanced in superintending the universe!
7. God’s Eyes are Open to the Secrets of all People.
And now I will attend to the passage in the New Testament. The New Testament doesn’t mention the eyes of God as often as the Old Testament. But it does mention the eyes of God in a powerful passage in Hebrews 4:12-13:
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”
This should be a very sobering thought to all of us, when we realize that nothing is hidden from the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account at the judgment day!
We have studied seven passages of scripture that shows that God sees the good and the bad. He is a righteous God whose ears are open and his eyes see the righteous people and hear their cries. God is a wonderful God and in justice, love and mercy he will take care of all his faithful children!
THE HISTORICAL MEANING OF THE EYE IN A TRIANGLE
Now I want us to take a look at your dollar bill. Take a look at the front of it and we have a picture of the father of our country—George Washington. In my opinion he is the greatest president ever because he started it all. He made great sacrifices when he could have been sitting under his own vine and fig tree. He gave up the good life in order to serve our country. But let us all look on the backside of the dollar bill. In 1776 certain people were commissioned to come up with a great seal for the United States of America. Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson and a few other people were on the committee. But the design they created was for the most part rejected. Benjamin Franklin came up with E Pluribus Unum—out of many one and they kept that and it was put on our Coins. Benjamin Franklin also wanted the turkey to be on the great seal, but that also was rejected. Aren’t you glad that the bald eagle is on our national seal instead of the turkey? We have enough turkeys running around already!
But we are just going to look at one aspect of this great seal. Notice on the left side of the dollar bill there is a Pyramid, and above it there is an Eye and a Latin phrase—ANNUIT COEPTIS and below it there is also a Latin phrase. I have been discussing “The Eyes of God” in the plural. That phrase is used about seven times the in the Bible. Scripture speaks of “the eyes of God,” but I recognize that an “eye” can stand for both eyes. If l say, “I have my eye on you,” that doesn’t mean that I am going to cover up one of my eyes. No, that’s a figure speech called synecdoche where a part can stand for the whole or the whole can stand for the part. Therefore, I have no problem here with this “all seeing eye,” because it really represents the “All Seeing Eyes of God!” as the Scripture teach.
But first, let us take a historical look at the triangle with an eye over it during the 15th through the 18th centuries. During this time period it was common to see this All Seeing Eye on different things, like the paintings of the great painters of that time period. For example, the painter Pontormo painted The All Seeing Eye above a Triangle on a painting called Supper at Emmaus in 1525, and is here displayed for all to see. You can see that it represents the providence of Almighty God—the God of justice, the God of mercy and the God of love. Throughout the centuries there were many paintings symbolizing the eternal God by the All Seeing Eye in a Triangle. The triangle represented the triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The All Seeing Eye in a triangle of the 15th through the 18th centuries had this inscription upon them: DEO FAVENTE, and when translated into English it meant “With God Favoring.”
THE UNITED STATES NATIONAL SEAL EXPLAINED
We are just going to look at one aspect of this great seal. Notice on the left side of the dollar bill there is a Pyramid, and above it there is an Eye and a Latin phrase—ANNUIT COEPTIS. And below the pyramid there is a Latin phrase “NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM,” Above this pyramid there is The All Seeing Eye, that I been talking about and found seven times in the Bible. In these seven references the scripture uses the phrase “the all seeing eyes.” But I recognize that one eye can stand for both eyes. If I say, I have my eye on you,” that’s a figure of speech called synecdoche where a part can stand for the whole or the whole can stand for the part. So I have no problem here with this All Seeing Eye because it really represents the All Seeing Eyes of God, as the Scriptures teach.
But notice that our forefathers didn’t take that Latin saying of The All Seeing Eye of the 15th through the 18th centuries, but they rejected “With God Favoring,” and instead they came up with a new design and a new Latin phrase. But what is the meaning of the pyramid? The pyramid stands for strength. You have to admit that out of all the ancient buildings in the world, the pyramids are still standing in our day. They are beginning to crumble on the outside, but they are still in tack and so the way those things are made, it reveals strength and stability. So our forefathers used the pyramid as a symbol of the strength and stability of our country. And then they put a Latin saying over The All Seeing Eye of God, ANNUIT COEPTIS, meaning “He (God) has favored our undertakings.”
At the bottom of the pyramid our forefathers put the Latin inscription “NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM,” when translated into English means “A New Order of The Ages.” “The pyramid signifies strength and duration; the eye over it and the motto alluded to the many signal interpositions of Providence in favor of the American cause.” The final rendition of the national seal was created by Charles Thompson, Secretary of the Continental Congress, and was adopted by Congress on June 20, 1782.
When you read about the history of the beginning of our country, Almighty God had to be with us in those battles against the greatest navy in the world—the British Navy. If you are really interested you can study about the right side of the Great Seal with the Eagle and the arrows in his talons and the stars and all that. It all has meaning and it’s very interesting.
THE ALL SEEING EYE GOD IS NEUTRAL—HE SEES THE GOOD AND BAD
I want to close out this lesson with the idea that The All Seeing Eye of God is neutral. He sees the good and he sees the bad. I remember when I was growing up I didn’t like my dad to see something when I was doing bad because I knew what was going to happen. But as I got older and I did some things that were good, I really enjoyed when he could see me doing something good. Don’t you think that God feels the same way? He wants to see all of you brothers and sisters in Christ living the Christian life. When He looks down and sees that brother is doing a good job living the Christian life consistently it will please Him. But he may see a brother or sister over here that has left their Christianity here in the building, they’re not doing right and it hurts him to see that kind of thing going on. So I guess that what we’re trying to get over today is we want to make God happy when we leave here and go out to live this week. Let’s remember that God sees everything we’re doing, everything we say and He even sees our every motive, our thoughts, and our actions. God loves us and let us live in such a way that God will smile and reach out to help us. So remember The All Seeing Eye of God is neutral—He sees the good and the bad!
In Proverbs 15:3 Solomon stated, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place keeping watch on the evil and the good,” and in Psalms 139:7-8 that was read at the beginning, David said,
Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
God is everywhere, He sees everything that’s going on, and the New Testament writers teach, “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13).
And one of the most beautiful verses in the Old Testament is Psalms 34:15,
“The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry.”
Simon Peter became an apostle and preached to the Israelites and the Gentiles. Later in life Peter quoted in his general letter the words of Psalms 34:15. But he added these words:
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their prayers;
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
(1 Peter 3:12 NKJV)
So let’s keep that in mind. God sees the good and the bad. He wants to see us doing the good, he wants to help us, He is a God of love, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Therefore, God is a God of love, He is a God of mercy, and He is a God of grace: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10). God, The All Seeing Eye, sees the good and the bad and he wants to see the good in all of his people.
I close today with a statement that Jesus made during his personal ministry. One day He asked some of his disciples “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Matthew 10: 29-30). God does take notice of every one of us; He even knows the number of hairs on our head! There are millions of sparrows, and not one of them can fall to the ground without God taking notice. But then He said, “You are worth more than many sparrows.” Therefore, if the eyes of Almighty God are on the sparrow and not a single hair from our head can fall to the ground without Him taking notice, don’t you think God is concerned about us? He loves us, he wants to help us and he wants us to be loyal and faithful servants all the days of our lives.
If you are not a Christian, today would be a wonderful opportunity, the baptistery water is warm, and we have people ready to assist you. If you have not been immersed for the forgiveness of sin, why not do so today? Jesus charged his disciples to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16). But if you’ve done that and then for some reason or another you have become an unfaithful member because you have fallen away, you do not need to be baptized again. But you do need to repent of those sins, confess them and go to God in prayer and be restored, so the blood of Christ can take away all of your present sins and restore your name in the Lamb’s Book of Life. If you’re subject to this invitation please come forward while together we stand and sing this hymn.
Copyright © 2020 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved
Shelby G. Floyd delivered the essence of this sermon December 6, 2020, at the Heartland Church of Christ, 1693 W. Main Street, Greenwood, Indiana 46142.