I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?
- Job 31.1
I gave a talk about specific lusts at Men's Support Mission a fortnight ago, and this was the only scripture I used.
It is unique in that it clearly identifies the desire of the eyes, particularly for men, and associates the eyes and what we see, with the brain.
As simple as it seems, this is a most remarkable scripture. Sometimes we are apt to think that lust of the eyes is worse now than in previous era's, however Job nails the problem, clearly showing us that it was alive and well even in the times of the last quarter of Genesis, from where Job fits in.
Whether it is looking upon a maid or upon gold and silver or something else, there is a pathway for lust to travel from the eyes to the brain, if we look for long enough. Job makes that distinction.
Another wonderful thing about scripture is that it is brief. Here, we have a mere fifteen words, yet it unmistakably explains that neural eyes-brain pathway we all have experienced.
The eyes are highly valuable, God-given tools. I know, because I am missing some sight now, and wish I had it back. It either prevents me from doing specific tasks or slows me down from doing the rest of the work I have to do. The only thing this bung eye doesn't seem to affect is my keyboard work — my typing. Thank the Lord for that.
When we look at anything, our mind is activated. As soon as the eyes see it, the brain commences work. Take driving, for instance. For an entire trip, we are glancing in front, in our peripheral vision, and in or rear vision. Our brain seems to act as a dashcam, telling us if we are safe or immediately warning us of a hazard.
When we see a lovely house or landmark, our mind also sees it via that neural pathway and generates certain feelings, depending on what we see…"Oh, I don't like that" or "isn't that nice," or when someone cuts us off, in a split-second the eyes see it, the brain takes it in, and the words, “you idiot" are out of our mouth before we have time to think about :)
Similarly, when our eyes dwell on things we shouldn't, that record follows the same pathway from the eyes to the brain, activating thoughts. When we look for too long, lust arises, as Job eloquently put it, and those simple thoughts turn to the desire of whatever we are looking at.
From the brain's interpretation of that lust, chemicals are released in the body, which gives rise to the Apostle James' thoughts on lust in James 1, that lust conceives and brings forth a type of death.
People have robbed banks and been thrown into prison, the thought of which began with a simple look, and then a longer one, until desire took over.
We see why Job made a covenant with his eyes. I don't recommend making a covenant, as the Lord has told us to just say yes or no and stand by that decision.
We don't make promises, because we don't know if we have the capacity to out. Job had trained himself over many years in these very things and was probably able to see them through.
Today's prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for my eyes and the vision I have. Please help me to use it for your purposes.