Hebrew Highlights 87 GOOD EYE
Shalom, this is Yuval Shomron, coming to you from Jerusalem.
MAT 6:19-24, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The lamp of the body is the eye; if therefore your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
Some would tend to start a new paragraph at verse 22, seeing no apparent connection between laying up treasures in Heaven, and the explanation of the good and bad eye. Actually, in Hebrew, there is an obvious correlation.
To see this, let’s go to PRO 22:9, “He who is generous will be blessed, For he gives some of his food to the poor.” The word, or rather words, translated here as generous are “tov-ayin”, or simply “good-eye”. That’s right, in Israel, someone who has a “good eye”, is known to be bighearted, openhanded, and charitable.
On the other hand, an evil eye is associated with stinginess, and seeking after personal gain, as we see in PRO 28:22, “A man with an evil eye hastens after wealth, And does not know that want will come upon him.”
Actually, the book of Proverbs has quite a lot to say about the subject of riches, generosity, and tightfistedness. Let’s look at just a few of them, starting with PRO 23:4, “Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, Cease from your consideration of it. When you set your eyes on it, it is gone. For wealth certainly makes itself wings, Like an eagle that flies toward the heavens.” In other words, “don’t even think about it!” This coincides very well with Yeshua’s advice not to lay up treasures here on earth.
Now, having established that we are not to run after riches, they may never-the-less come to us, as we see in PRO 10:22, “It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich, And He adds no sorrow to it.” This is mentioned again in PRO 28:20, “A faithful man will abound with blessings, But he who makes haste to be rich will not go unpunished.”
Another good verse is PRO 28:6, “Better is the poor who walks in his integrity, than he who is crooked though he be rich.” I suppose many of us dream of being rich. The question is, “How did we get our assets, and what do we do with our treasures once we get them?”
If we have a “good eye”, we will be looking towards blessing others, and will in turn receive an even greater reward. Imagine the interest on our account opened in Heaven’s bank. Semi-annual returns on an eternal deposit must add up to quite a fortune. Even if we invest a small portion of the money, talents, or time we do have available, our barns will be full, and our hearts will be right.
To end on a note of measured balance, I’ll read one more passage from PRO 22:2, “The rich and the poor have a common bond, The Lord is the maker of them all.”
Shalom, Shalom from Jerusalem.