“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Do not be like the horse or like the mule, which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, else they will not come near you.”
I am not a farmer, and do not have a lot of experience with either horses or mules. With my limited knowledge, I have observed, that bits are used in horses for an entirely different reason, than they are used in mules. Horses want to run free; they must be broken, and the harness and bit are to keep them from running off on their own. Mules are stubborn; they are not known for running off, but for standing still. The bit and harness are used on the mule to get them going. While I do not have a lot of familiarity with horses and mules, I have spent lots of time with Christians. It seems to me, we are by nature, a lot like either the horse or the mule. Some of us have the tendency to run ahead. We are the self-reliant; the ones who are constantly thinking we can handle things, and forgetting our need to cling to the Lord. Others of us, are more mule-like. We are the ones who tend to sit back, always aware of our own weaknesses. Those weaknesses keep us from venturing out into what God would have us do.
The instruction the Lord gives David is for all of us. It does not matter what your natural tendencies are, we must learn not to trust in self, but to look to the Lord. God does not want to lead us as if we were a domesticated animal. Instead, He wants to lead us with His eye. That can mean one of two things. First, it can mean He is giving us signals with His eyes. My wife does that periodically. If we are in a group of people and she wants to talk to me, she may signal me with her eyes. The key is, I must be looking carefully at her to get it. God wants our eyes on Him. If we are going to be led by the Lord, our eyes must be fixed upon Him.
Second, the writer to the Hebrews stated,
” . . .looking unto 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.” Hebrews 12:2
I think the illustration can mean something else as well. Guiding us with His eyes is only possible when we look at things through His eyes. I can remember sitting with some friends in the mountains on a clear night. The stars were so bright and vivid that our attention was drawn up. One of my friends is an amateur astronomer, so he began to explain the various constellations to us. I was having a very difficult time locating the beginning point of one of them, so he stood next to me and pointed up. I looked at the stars through His eyes and was able to see what he saw. To be guided with His eye, is to look at things through God’s eyes. We do that by becoming familiar with His Word. We will only know what God thinks, when we spend time reading what He has to say. It has become all too common in our world, for us to imagine what God wants based upon personal experience, instead of looking into His Word, and seeing life through His eyes. Instead of looking at life through the eyes of culture, experience, trial, pain, sorrow, ambition, fear, want or worry, lets look at things through the eyes of God, and allow Him to lead us.
Questions for Psalm 32
- How does David describe the blessed life?
- What are the physical effects of un-confessed sin?
- What is significant about the fact that God wants to guide us with His eyes?
- Why are we warned against being like mule or horse?