Wisdom Wednesday:  Wisdom and the Eyes of the Heart 

Wisdom Wednesday: Wisdom and the Eyes of the Heart

Submitted by Debbie’s Dad

 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,  that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints … Eph 1:16–19 ESV (Emphasis Added)

In this passage, Paul is praying that the believers at Ephesus will receive God’s Spirit and adopt an attitude of wisdom and revelation so they will know God by having the “eyes of their hearts” enlightened (to make light shine on something to make it known). He wanted their hearts to “see” and know God, and he adds in verse 18 that they will also know about their eternal hope and inheritance.

He wants them to know God and understand the wonderful hope and inheritance that God has bestowed on them. And this will occur as the eyes of their hearts are illuminated.

A popular praise song has the main lyric line based on this verse: “Open the eyes of my heart, Lord, that I may see you.” [Open the Eyes of My Heart; Song by Michael W. Smith, Songwriter Paul Joseph Baloche.]

The Scripture uses the metaphor of eyes and ears to refer to our willingness to accept and receive spiritual truth. As our eyes and ears enable us to apprehend and perceive the physical world, the Old and New Testaments refer to our ability to perceive spiritual truth.

The wisdom books of the Old Testament captured the connection of eyes and heart in the sense of spiritual perception. Consider these passages:

  • “… the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; “Psa. 19:8 (ESV) -God’s Word illuminates the eyes of the heart, and the heart rejoices.
  • “My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.” Prov. 23:26.–The spiritual eyes observe the ways of the Lord and the heart yields to learn.
  • “And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil.”, Eccl. 2:10.–Solomon allowed his physical eyes to seek his desires, and his spiritual heart followed.
  • “Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin.” Prov. 21:4.—The sinfulness of the wicked is found in pride of the eyes and heart.

Referring to those that rejected Him, Jesus spoke of spiritual deafness and blindness that prevented their hearts from opening and receiving Him. He quoted Isaiah, explaining that a failure of the eyes and ears of the heart caused their rejection of the heart. (Isaiah 6:9-10)

“You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.”

For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear,

and their eyes they have closed lest they should see with their eyes

and hear with their ears and understand with their heart

and turn, and I would heal them.”

Jesus explained the concept of the eye providing light to the heart like this:

 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! “Mt 6:22–23. ESV.

As the writer of the Hebrews exhorted first-century believers, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…” (Hebrews 12:2)

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