Lift Up Your Eyes

Psalm 123:1
   Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens.

The Word of God speaks of God's dwelling in the heavens.  Heaven is used as a figure in the Word when referring to God.  For example, to look toward heaven means to focus your attention on God.  We are to keep our vision up!  We are to lift up our eyes to God.  Psalm 123 goes on to explain:

Psalm 123:2
   Behold, as the eyes of the servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until that he have mercy upon us.

In the Bible lands a servant would stand in the background and watch for his master to signal him with his hands.  The signal would be subtle and not obvious to the guests of the master.  The servant would intently watch the hands of the master and wait for him to signal him.  We are to lift up our eyes to God and wait upon Him.  We watch and wait intently - continuously focused on God just as the servant looks to the hands of the master.

John 17:1
   These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee;

When Jesus prayed he looked up toward heaven.  Many times when we pray we bow our heads and look down.  Whether we look up or down physically is not the point.  We bow to show humility; but inwardly our thoughts and prayer should be upward to God.  Although, this record shows Jesus physically looking up, lifting your eyes to God is not a physical action.  It is a mental one.  We are to keep our vision up!  Focus our thoughts on things above.  In our mind we look up.

Isaiah 40:26a
   Lift up your eyes on high and behold who hath created these things . . .

Deuteronomy 4:19
   And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the Lord thy God hath divided unto all nations under heaven.

When we lift up our eyes to the heavens we are to focus on the Creator, God; not to focus on the creation and worship it.  The question is where is your heart?  Is it on the creation and the things of man or is it on the Creator and the Word of God?  Its a question of heart.

II Chronicles 17:6
   And his [Jehoshaphat king of Judah's] heart was lifted up in the ways of the Lord: moreover he took away the high places and groves out of Judah.

II Chronicles 26:16a
   But when he [Uzziah king of Judah] was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the Lord his God, . . .

When our heart is focused on our own vanity it is lifted up to destruction.  When our focus is on God our heart is lifted up in the ways of the Lord.

Lamentations 3:41
   Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.

We are to get our vision up.  Lift our hearts to God. Lifting hands is a figure for surrendering to God.  While some teach others to physically lift up their hands when praying or worshiping God, the physical action is not the point.  We are to put God first and focus our vision on Him.  If you want to physically lift up your hands. . . that's OK as long as you understand that lifting your heart, soul, eyes, and hands to God does not refer to physical action but matters of the heart.  You can lift your hands to God without ever physically moving anything, just as you can lift your eyes to Him while your head is bowed.

Genesis 14:22
   And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the Lord, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth,

Abram was not referring to physically lifting his hand to God.  He was saying that God was the source of his abundance and that he had surrendered his well being to God's care.  When God is the focus of our attention and we surrender to the truth of His Word then our needs are met abundantly by God who cares for us.

Psalm 119:48
   My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes.

Proverbs 29:18
   Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

The word perish in this verse means to loosen, dismiss, or wander.  To have vision is to lift up your eyes to God.  It is to have knowledge or revelation from God.  It is to keep His Word.  Where there is no knowledge of God, the people wander around aimlessly.  But when we lift up our eyes to God and His Word we are happy.  So lift up your eyes!

August, 1998
Michael Cortright