“Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings.” (Psalm 17:8)
The Bible uses many word pictures to illustrate God’s care for His children. God acts as a Good Shepherd over His sheep. He stands like a tower of refuge and safety for His people. The Father-child analogy portrays God’s tender love and care. But none of these pictures conveys the level of intimacy like God keeping us as the “apple of His eye.”
The “apple of the eye” refers to the pupil—the opening at the center of the eye which admits light and allows us to see. Though this opening is small, it’s guarded by many levels of protection. The pupil is surrounded by the iris, which dilates or contracts to manage the amount of light entering the eye. The iris is supported by the strong and durable sclera—the white of the eye. The lens—a transparent dome—covers the layers beneath it. In turn, the eyelids and lashes guard the lens and defend against larger debris. Finally, tiny ducts at the corner of the eye lubricate the whole system with tears.
In addition to testifying of God’s creative power, the intricate protection of the eye creates a wonderful picture of God’s care and protection for us. God keeps us with the same excessive protection that our pupils receive. Though our eyes will eventually fail us, God’s protection will never fail.
Final Thought: We are the apple of God’s eye.
CJ Harris is the managing editor for Positive Action, where he helps plan, develop, and launch Bible curricula for churches and schools. Having served as a youth pastor and Sunday School teacher, he has a passion for teaching young people about the glories of their God. A bit of a history buff, CJ received his Ph.D. in Church History in 2011, based on a study of Reformation-era missions philosophy. He and his wife—also a student and teacher of history—have two sons.