Several years ago, I noticed while studying Genesis the repeated phrase, “lifted his eyes and looked” or “I lifted my eyes and saw.”
- In Genesis 18:2 “Abraham lifted his eyes and looked” when three men stood at his tent door, one maybe being the LORD, to tell him that he and Sarah would have a child in their old age.
- When Abraham had Isaac on the altar, after God stopped him from sacrificing Isaac, it says in Genesis 22:13-14, “Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns.”
- In Genesis 24:63-64, Isaac went out to meditate in the field and “lifted his eyes and looked“; Rebekah also “lifted her eyes” as God had provided a wife for Isaac.
- In Genesis 31:10, Jacob said, “I lifted my eyes and saw in a dream. . .” and in the dream, the Angel of God said to Jacob, “Lift your eyes now and see. . .” as God provided and increased Jacob’s herd. God blessed Jacob as he called him to return to the land of his family.
Each time, it seems to indicate God’s provision. It has made me wonder what I would see if I would just lift up my eyes and look, if I would remove my eyes from the circumstances around me and look up to God and see how He might be providing for the need at hand.
This theme of looking up continues throughout the Bible. Looking up might also astound me with the greatness of God! Isaiah 40:26 says, “Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing.”
Looking up might show me the needs around me. In John 4:35, Jesus tells his disciples, “…lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.”
In John 17:1, Jesus “lifted up His eyes to heaven” when His hour had come. When the time had arrived that He came to this earth for—to do His Father’s will, to give His life for ours, to bring eternal life to those who believe on Jesus—Jesus lifted up His eyes to heaven.
Hebrews 12:1-2 shows us that it’s in “looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” that we find endurance to run the race set before us. It enables us to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us.”
I wonder today if we would lift up our eyes and see what we might find.
- Could God have a provision for us in a difficult situation that He wants to give us but that we can’t see if we don’t look to Him?
- Could we find endurance in running our race and freedom from sin which wants to entangle us?
- Could we discover new opportunities to point others to Jesus?
- Could we behold the glory of God as we see differently those things that otherwise might seem just ordinary or that we might take for granted?
- Could we look up in prayer and in reading the Bible to help us know and do our Father’s will?
The fall schedule is upon us, schools are starting back. For our family, I start back in my normal work schedule today, my husband and I are going to his faculty dinner to kickoff the new year, the kids are preparing for school, finishing their summer reading and more.
As we go through the routine, we don’t want to miss the glory of God, the opportunities before us, the provisions He makes for us, the ways He can transform our hearts and enable us to do His will. We want to lift our eyes and see! I pray we will all behold Him anew and catch a greater vision of our God as we begin another school year and a new season.