In The Sight of God

9:54 am Christian living, God, religion

The Holy Spirit declares, “Neither is there any creature that is not manifested in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do” (Heb. 4:13).  The phrase, “in the sight of God” occurs twenty-two times in the New Testament and numerous times in the Old Testament.  Indeed, all things and all people are under the divine scrutiny of God.  There are at least six aspects to consider when searching for the meaning of this phrase: God’s watchfulness, judgment, spiritual discernment, care, approval and will.
God’s Watchfulness.
In addition to the general statement found in Heb. 4:13, Paul gives Timothy a charge under God’s watchful eye in I Tim. 6:13, “I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  James declares that we must humble ourselves in the sight of God (James 4:10). These passages capture the concept that everything we do takes place under God’s watchful eye.
God’s Judgment
After Simon the sorcerer was baptized (Acts 8:12-13), he coveted the power to be able to lay hands on someone and impart miraculous gifts.  Peter rebukes him and says, “Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God” (Acts 8:21).   God’s judgment was against the thought that one could purchase the gift of God with money. Consider these passages from Psalms.  “Arise O LORD: let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight” (Psa. 9:19).  “Thou, even thou, art to be feared: and who may stand in thy sight when once thou art angry?” (Psa. 76:7).  “…he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight” (Psa. 101:7).
God’s Spiritual Discernment
In Acts 4:19, Peter and John make a choice to reject the commandment of the Sanhedrin to not speak or teach in the name of Jesus.  They did so based upon God’s perspective rather than man’s perspective.  A judgment has to be made regarding who they will follow and obey.  They ask others to make their own choice.  Then, they state that they must speak the things which they had seen and heard.  They would not be silenced because they knew God’s viewpoint on the matter.  They were more concerned about what God thought of the matter than what men thought.  God discerns the intents of the heart.  Paul writes, “For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ” (II Cor. 2:17).  Paul knew God discerned the intents of his heart.  Luke 16:15 draws a contrast between what men esteem and what God esteems.  “And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.”
God’s Care
The phrase “in the sight of God” also indicates God’s care.  God has an active concern for the disadvantaged.  “He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy. He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight” (Psa. 72:14).  Also, God cares for His saints.  “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” (Psa. 116:15).
God’s Approval
One of the most common senses in which the phrase, “in the sight of God” is used is of the divine approval of God.  In Acts 10:31, Cornelius finds approval by God for the alms which he gave.  Paul indicates the care he had for the Corinthian church was executed in the sight of God (for God’s approval) (II Cor. 7:12).  Paul extols honesty “in the sight of the Lord, and in the sight of men” (II Cor. 8:21).  He also commends holiness in the sight of God (Col. 1:22).  The works of faith, labor of love and patience of hope are highlighted by Paul as hallmarks of the church at Thessalonica (I Thess. 1:3).  Certainly, these qualities are approved by God.  We should be God-pleasers and not men-pleasers (Heb. 13:21).  Peter commends the “meek and quiet spirit” which is in the sight of God of great price (I Pet. 3:4).  Finally, John shows that obedience is essential to pleasing God (I John 3:22).
God’s Will
Sometimes the phrase, “in the sight of God” has the sense of “according to God’s Will.”  Paul states, “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Rom. 3:20; Gal. 3:11).  We can know what is good and acceptable “in the sight of God” because we know His will (I Tim. 2:3).  God determines what is hidden and what is revealed based upon His own purposes (Luke 10:21).
The phrase, “in the sight of God” denotes:  a God-centered perspective; a biblical perspective, a just perspective, a compassionate perspective and a God-honoring perspective.  The way to live a life that brings glory to God is to live life “in the sight of God!”

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