Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things;
and give me life in your ways.
Psalm 119:37 ESV
“The eye is not satisfied with seeing…” (Ecclesiastes 1:8). Despite the very best efforts of streaming services like Netflix, the Preacher’s words still remain true. Our eyes now have literally more content to view than can possibly be viewed in anyone’s lifetime, but even with more to see than ever before, we still are not satisfied. Indeed, depression and mental health studies would probably suggest that we are less satisfied than previous generations. We shouldn’t be surprised. Vanities can only produce emptiness. Gazing upon ultimately worthless things inevitably leaves us feeling worthless ourselves.
As the psalmist here shows, the problem of worthless viewing was not invented alongside the internet; instead, the sinfulness within every human’s heart perpetually causes our eyes to crave fruitless spectacles. The psalmist knows this, not by intellect alone but by personal experience, and he, therefore, cries out for God to turn his eyes away from life’s broken cisterns that cannot stay filled with water.
Yet if the psalmist knew that he needed to have eyes diverted from the valueless treasures of the world, to what then should his gaze turn? The second line answers by implication. God’s ways, which as we have seen are revealed in God’s Scriptures, are the path of life, the road to God Himself, which makes them the very opposite of worthless. Indeed, David wrote that God’s law is more desirous “than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb” (Psalm 19:10). The Scriptures are so magnificent because they display to us our God of infinite worth.
How often do you open your Bible with such joy and delight?
What worthless things of this world do you look upon with greater love than God’s Word?
Let us pray with the psalmist for God to turn our eyes away from such vanities and onto Himself.