“Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.”
The wise writer of Proverbs advises us on the importance of keeping our eyes pointed in the right direction. The two verses prior to our text challenge us to “Keep thy heart with all diligence” (Proverbs 4:23), and “Put away from thee a froward mouth” (Proverbs 4:24). We are to keep our hearts right, guard our words, and be careful about what we see. We should require that our eyes “look right on, and …straight before thee.”
The eye gate, the things we focus on or gaze at, will have great influence on our attitudes and actions. It is easy to be distracted by the things around us. The attractions of the world, the lure of excess leisure, the advertisements of immoral pursuits, and materialistic propaganda vie for our attention. We must be careful to keep our eyes and our minds focused on the proper things and in the right places.
In categorizing the areas of temptation, the Bible cautions us about “the lust of the eyes” (I John 2:16). The lust of the eyes has led to the distraction and destruction of many. The first temptation recorded in the Bible began when Eve “saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes” (Genesis 3:6). When Achan was describing his sin that led to the defeat of Israel at the hands of Ai, he said it began with seeing a garment that he then coveted.
Where should we focus our eyes? We must discipline ourselves to keep our eyes on the Lord. It is easy to fix our eyes on other things and other people, and not keep looking to the Lord. Like Peter when he “saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid” (Matthew 14:30). When we focus our eyes on our storms and problems instead of keeping them on the Savior and His promises, we will probably stumble. We should work on keeping our gaze on Christ while glancing at other things, rather than gazing at our situations and only glancing to the Lord. The farmers sometimes put blinders on the horse to keep the animal from being distracted from its work. We need to keep our eyes straight ahead, lest we turn out of the way. Many of God’s people have met spiritual disaster by looking too long in the wrong direction. We will not be successful in keeping our walk headed in the right way, if we cannot keep our eyes looking right on.