Eyes Wide Closed
“Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.” Proverbs 4:25 KJV
If you are looking for direction for your life and for your future, you will find good advice in Proverbs 4:25 & 26. The word “ponder” indicates there is value in looking behind before we spend too much time looking ahead. Hopefully, we have learned something from past experiences that will benefit us as we move forward. This means that we should weigh what we are going to do against what we have already done. Too often we find that we are repeatedly making the same mistakes.
The end of verse 26 reads this way in the Amplified: “Let all your ways be established and ordered aright.” The wisdom of the Lord is telling us that as you consider the events of your past (and this assumes that you were following God and His Word), you should continue in the ways of the Lord. Only in Him and through the Holy Spirit can your path and your direction be ordered correctly.
Let’s go back to verse 25 for a moment. If we are letting our eyelids look straight ahead, we are, of course, focusing on the Lord. This is a familiar theme. “Look not to the right or left”. This part makes logical sense. However, the second part is a bit puzzling at first glance. Let your eyelids look straight before you? How can your eyelids look straight ahead? That just does not sound right to us so what does that actually mean?
Consider what happens you when you try to look ahead toward a specific goal. When you are looking ahead as the verse instructs it is very easy to get distracted. Think about how it is when you are trying to look resolutely at anything. What happens? In your peripheral vision, you might see something move by and the result is that you take your focus off the goal and look towards the motion you spotted off to the side. This is a natural, reactive response that is done without even thinking about it.
So, how does that tie in with the end of verse 25? Really, how can your eyelids look straight ahead? Well, think about when you see your own eyelids. This only happens when your eyes are closed. So, if your eyes are closed then it is your eyelids that are looking ahead. This is a desirable thing because if your eyes are closed, then you will not see those movements on the periphery that would be distracting if your eyes were open. All the things that might take your attention away from the goal are removed as distractions because your eyes are closed.
If you are pondering your path and looking ahead, the only way to truly do this is to have your eyes wide closed, not open. This means that you are truly trusting in the Holy Spirit and not your own wisdom! Are you looking to regain the path that God has established for you? The only way is to let your “eyelids look straight before you!”
J Todd Hostetler