I will set before my eyes no vile thing.

 

*   (Psa 101:1-4 NIV)  Of David. A psalm. I will sing of your love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will sing praise. {2} I will be careful to lead a blameless life-- when will you come to me? I will walk in my house with blameless heart. {3} I will set before my eyes no vile thing. The deeds of faithless men I hate; they will not cling to me. {4} Men of perverse heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with evil.

*   (Psa 101:3-4 KJV)  I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. {4} A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person.

*   (Psa 101:3-4 RSV)  I will not set before my eyes anything that is base. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cleave to me. {4} Perverseness of heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil.

 

What is vile? Things that are loathsome; disgusting, morally depraved; ignoble, wicked or base.

 

But don’t we set our eyes upon such things frequently? Obvious things are found in the movies we watch, the TV shows we tune in, the plays we see, the concerts we attend, and the myriad places we go.

 

But, there is much more here than meets the eyes. Have you ever heard the expression, “Ah! Now I see, said the blind man.” The point is that we see or perceive much more than our eyes reveal. And that is why the context talks about a blameless life, a blameless heart, faithless men, and having nothing to do with evil.

 

We are very visually oriented. If you had to lose one of your senses such as sight, hearing, touch, smell, or taste it’s not likely that sight would be your choice. When we don’t understand something people may say, “Do you want me to draw you a picture?” Computers are designed to be quite visual in their operation, there’s a name for it, GUI, Graphical User Interface. And which of us are not attracted to visual beauty? All too often we will sacrifice other forms of beauty to the god of physical beauty. My point, and the point the Bible is making here is simply that we will do well to watch what we watch!

 

There is a good reason why much of crime, i.e. sin, occurs at night. Evil does not want to be seen as it really is. What is good and pure and righteous is compared to light and life but what is bad and impure and unrighteous is compared to darkness and death. So today’s verse is another way of asking us to avoid those things that are done in darkness and that lead to death. Don’t set your eyes on things that will lead you astray. Avoid temptation by controlling what you look upon. If you control what you look upon you will be well on your way to controlling your thoughts and also be well on your way to being the man you should be and the man you can be with the help of God.

 

Hear a little of what the scriptures say about light and darkness

*   (Acts 26:17-18 NIV)  I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them {18} to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.'

*   (2 Cor 11:14-15 NIV)  And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. {15} It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

*   (Luke 11:34-36 NIV)  Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness. {35} See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. {36} Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you."

 

Darkness blinds. What do you see in the darkness? Nothing! If you have been to the Oregon Caves you may have experienced total darkness when the guide briefly turns off all the lighting. What did you see? Nothing! You are for all practical purposes blind at that point. Why should you let your sight blind you? It is better not to look at anything that causes you to stumble as if you were a blind person. Blindness is not simply a matter of sight; it’s more a matter of perception and understanding.

 

So set your eyes on Christ. In Christ there is no evil. In Christ we can see clearly and be seen by Him clearly. Will He set His eyes upon us if we are vile and wicked and base?

*   (John 1:1-9 RSV)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. {2} He was in the beginning with God; {3} all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. {4} In him was life, and the life was the light of men. {5} The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. {6} There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. {7} He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. {8} He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light. {9} The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world.

*   (John 3:19-21 NIV)  This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. {20} Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. {21} But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."

 

Allow me to paraphrase Philippians 4:8.  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—set your eyes upon such things.