"When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings" (Genesis 3:6-7)
From the very beginning our eyes have caused us to stumble and fall. In fact the Fall of mankind was accomplished by Satan using Eve's eyes to look upon something that God had forbidden. This was not a casual glance, an inadvertent look, but an intense, thoughtful staring. Just glancing at something that happens to come into our field of vision will not harm us. No doubt Eve had seen the fruit of the Forbidden Tree many times before, but it was not until Satan directed her eyes to study the fruit that she succumbed to sin. Satan is using the same tactic today to destroy and enslave the human race.
To think that what we regularly set our eyes upon has no effect upon us is the height of foolishness. Advertisers know full well the impact that words, images, shapes, and colors have upon people. Market research is done on products to determine the most enticing way to present them. Different colors affect us differently. It has been shown that when food is packaged in blue, sales lag. It is thought this happens because most food is not blue, but rather yellow, green, orange, or red. There are exceptions of course, such as blueberries, but in general blue is not a food color. Advertisers use this information to manipulate what we buy. Generic food that is packaged in black and white has nowhere near the impact upon us that color does.
Advertisers use the most beautiful women and the most handsome men, qualities that appeal to us sexually, to sell everything. We are more likely to purchase a product if someone whom we wish to emulate or find physically attractive is shown using it or singing its praises. People who are overweight are rarely used to sell products or become media stars. Women are referred to as "babes" and men as "hunks" if they measure up to the standard of attractiveness the world prizes. Both terms are offensive. They reduce the person to no more than a sex object, something women have rightly criticized for years. But with the rise of feminism women have shown themselves to be just as guilty as men when it comes to the sexual objectivation of others. Commercials now show women ogling men in the same way men have always ogled women.
Beauty can cause us to make unwise decisions. "Then Samson went down to Timnah and saw a woman in Timnah, one of the daughters of the Philistines. So he came back and told his father and mother, 'I saw a woman in Timnah, one of the daughters of the Philistines; now therefore, get her for me as a wife.' Then his father and his mother said to him, 'Is there no woman among the daughters of your relatives, or among all our people, that you go to take a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?' But Samson said to his father, 'Get her for me, for she looks good to me'" (Judges 14:1-3). This woman was a Philistine, the enemy of Israel. Yet none of that mattered to Samson. His only concern was to have this woman as his wife. It was not a happy marriage and ended when she was given to another man after Samson left her for a time.
Job recognized the danger of looking upon a woman and thinking about her. "I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin" (Job 31:1). Job was wise enough to know that if he looked long enough at a woman his heart may begin to be pulled away from his wife and adultery could result.
David should have made the same covenant with his eyes. "Now when evening came David arose from his bed and walked around on the roof of the king's house, and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful in appearance" (2 Samuel 11:2). This gazing led to adultery and the eventual murder of the woman's husband.
What we set our eyes upon absolutely influences our actions. The purpose of God's commandments, teachings, and disciplines are, "To keep you from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the adulteress. Do not desire her beauty in your heart, nor let her capture you with her eyelids. For on account of a harlot one is reduced to a loaf of bread, and an adulteress hunts for the precious life. Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Or can a man walk on hot coals, and his feet not be scorched" (Proverbs 6:24-28)? Satan knows that what we allow ourselves to look upon will govern our behavior.
The "precious life" spoken of here is the soul, which consists of our will, emotions, and intellect. This is what Satan wishes to control. And understanding the weaknesses of mankind he is a master at bringing us under his influence. This is why Jesus so emphatically told His followers, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul" (Mark 8:34-37)? We must deny our desires if they are contrary to the will of God. A woman or man may be sexually desirable to us, but we do not have the right to act upon that desire if it is sin. Much is made of homosexuality being a legitimate lifestyle because they claim they were born that way. Further, they claim their love can be as genuine as that between a man and woman. However, the Bible clearly teaches that homosexuality is a sin; thus, to indulge this desire is wrong. The homosexual must deny himself, take up his cross (an instrument of death) and cause the sinful desire to go unfilled.
Lest women think they are immune from lusting after a man they should learn from Potiphar's wife. "It came about after these events that his master's wife looked with desire at Joseph, and she said, 'Lie with me'" (Genesis 39:7). When Joseph refused to commit adultery with Potiphar's wife she falsely accused him of rape. Joseph was sent to prison as a result, but was eventually made a ruler over Egypt because he maintained his integrity in the face of temptation.
Violence in movies or TV etc. does not in and of itself make one violent. Violence is part of the state of fallen mankind. Cain killed Abel, not because he watched violence, but because it was within him. "So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the LORD of the fruit of the ground. Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell" (Genesis 4:3-5). Abel's sacrifice to the Lord was accepted, but Cain's was rejected. Cain felt God was being unfair, intolerant by not approving of his offering. Since Cain could not hurt God, he hurt the one whom God approved of, Abel. Cain's solution was to kill that which stood in his way, that which he perceived to be unjust.
Man becomes violent when he does not get his way, when he feels that his rights have been abused. Violence is the natural result of a spirit-dead, soulish creature. The soul is selfish, wanting only to satisfy its needs and wants. However, the spirit that has been raised to new life by the resurrection power of Jesus Christ is instilled with a self-sacrificing love; one that not only desires the best for those who love in return, but also for those who hate when good is given.
God is "a consuming fire" (Hebrews 12:29). His fiery judgments will destroy all evil and wickedness that the godless practice. "Sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling has seized the godless. 'Who among us can live with the consuming fire? Who among us can live with continual burning?' He who walks righteously and speaks with sincerity, he who rejects unjust gain and shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe; he who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed and shuts his eyes from looking upon evil; he will dwell on the heights, his refuge will be the impregnable rock; his bread will be given him, his water will be sure. Your eyes will see the King in His beauty." (Isaiah 33:14-17). Set your eyes upon the Lord and your heart will follow paths of holiness.
Writer: Terry L. Brown
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Your article shows us how vulernable we are to the passions of this world. I liked the article and I have no words to praise it.
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