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Good Cheer!
Deuteronomy 11: 12

"The eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it,
from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year
."

The Israelites had lived for many years in Egypt.

He calls it a land of hills and valleys, a land of springs and rivers, a land dependent not upon the irrigation,
but dependent upon the rain of heaven.
So, Moses says in conclusion:
"A land which the Lord thy God careth for; the eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it,
from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year
."

I would like for us to see this text as a type of the condition of the natural and the spiritual man.
In this world, the carnal man has to be his own providence. His cares are many, and frequently, they become so heavy that they drive him to desperation. He must be his own god.

The spiritual man dwells in another country.
He is a citizen of heaven.

It is true that he endures the same troubles, and experiences the same afflictions as the ungodly,
but these come to him in a different manner.
These come to him as a gracious Father's permission, and they go at the bidding of His loving wisdom.

By faith, the child of God casts his care upon God who careth for him.
The child of God can go through each day knowing that he has a heavenly Father
who will "work all things together for his good." (Romans 8: 28)

God is the guardian of the Christian and all his concerns are safe in the hands of infinite grace.
Even in the year of drought, the believer dwells in green pastures and lies down beside the still waters.
Those who are not in Christ abide in the wilderness and hear the mutterings of the curse:
"Cursed is he that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm;
he shall be like the heat in the desert; he shall not see when good cometh
."

For the Christian:"The eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon thee, O believer,
from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year
."

All who have trusted in Jesus are under the guidance of the great Joshua.
We have left the wilderness of conviction and fear and have come into the Canaan of faith.
The eyes of God are upon us from the beginning of the year to its very end.

Consider the text as we find it.
The first word that glitters before us like a jewel in a crown is the word, "eyes,"
-- "the eyes of the Lord."

What is meant by the act of looking at us?
Surely, it does not mean mere omniscience.
In that sense God sees everything, the good and the evil.
No, it isn't that which is meant for there is love in the text, "The Lord knoweth the righteous."
The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, not merely to see them, but to view them with delight.
It means not just to observe them, but to observe them with affectionate care and interest.

First, the text means that God's love is always upon His people.

Think of that!
God loves us!
God's love is shed upon us poor, insignificant, undeserving, worthless beings.
God loves us!
God always loves us!
The loving eyes of God are upon us from the beginning of the year even to the end of the year.
The text teaches us that the Lord takes a personal interest in us.

Further, the text reminds us of the unlimited power of God towards His people.

Can His eyes always be upon us?
This would not be possible, if He were not God.
Humans cannot do this.
But God can!
He bringeth forth the stars; He called them all by their names.
Therefore, He can notice people as insignificant as you and me.

God never takes His eyes off you!
Put all these things together -- intense affectation, personal interest, and available power
-- and we have God's love and care described for us.
We must remember that God's heart is filled with unchanging grace toward us.

In the past we have sinned, but our sin never made Him love us less because He sees us
and loves us in Christ.
He has seen us in Christ ever since, and He has never ceased to love us.

It is true that we have failed Him many times, but He never loved us for our good works.
And He has never cast us away for our bad works because He sees us as washed
in the atoning blood of Christ Jesus.
He sees us clothed in the perfect righteousness of our Saviour.

So, the eyes of God are always upon His children as eyes of delight, wisdom, and unchanging love.

The next word that seems to flash and sparkle in the text is the word, "always."
"The eyes of the Lord are always upon it."
And, if that word "always" were not enough for our ears, He adds:
"From the beginning of the year even to the end of the year."

This is so clear!
We are to understand that not one single day or hour of the day or minute of the hour can pass
without God seeing us.

Try to think -- if there is any time in our life when we could afford to be without God.

How about the time of prosperity?
Maybe we could do without God when our business prospers, our wealth increases,
and our mind is free from worries.
No! No!
To be without our God would be like a marriage without a bridegroom.
It would be a day without light.

Do without God in prosperity?
We cannot!
For then we would grow worldly and proud.
We would become self-centered, and destructive.
The Christian in prosperity is like a man standing on a pinnacle; he must be divinely held or his fall will be terrible.

What then?

Could we do without God in adversity?
Could you be without God?
With God -- pain can become pleasure, and dying beds are elevated into heavenly mansions.
Without God what would we do?
There is no time we could do without God.

Can the young Christian, full of freshness and vigor and zeal do without his God?
No! No!
How can the lamb do without the shepherd to carry it in his arms?

Maybe the person in middle-life, who has established his maturity.
Maybe he could do without his God?
Oh, no!

He will tell you that it is a day of battle!
The heavy burdens of business and the burdens of life are so heavy that without God
a man in midlife would be "like a naked man in the midst of a thicket of briars and thorns"
-- he cannot make it without God.

Ask that person in the older years of his life, if he would desire to be independent of God.

He will say to you that, as the weakness of body and problems of aging press upon him,
to be without God would be sheer wretchedness.

There is not a moment in any one day that you or I have ever lived that we could afford to be
without the help of God.
For when we thought we were strong and sufficient, we were weak.

We have been fools to ever be without God.
To be without God for five minutes has cost us rivers of tears to undo.
In an unguarded moment, we have spoken words which we can never recall.

Without God, we have allowed evil thoughts to become a terrible act that whizzed
through our souls like a hellish thunderbolt.

We need to realize that the Lord's eyes are always on us, so that when we wake up in the morning
we will claim this promise,
"Lord, Thou hast said that Thou wilt always be with us.
Thank you, Lord
!"

No matter what last year meant -- good, bad, or indifferent -- last year is gone.
We do not know that the coming year will be any better.
But whatever comes, may God's will be done.
May we live in the assurance that -- not for a moment -- from now until next December 31, 2001
will we be without the tender care of our heavenly Father.
He has promised that He will not remove His eyes from any of His children -- not even for a second.

Here is good cheer for us?

We can march boldly into this wilderness.
The pillar of fire and cloud will never leave us.
The manna will never cease to fall.
The rock will open to us with living streams of mercy.

So, let us grow through the new year with renewed confidence in our great God.
May we be able to say at the end of the year,
"Did not our hearts burn within us as we talked along the way."

Now let us turn the text over.
Let us misread it.
Suppose the text read, "The eyes of His people are upon Him..."

Imagine that we blotted out the text.
Of course, we cannot blot it out -- nor would we if we could, but suppose that it is blotted out.
Imagine, that you and I would have to live all through the year of 2000 without the eyes of God upon us.
How horrible!
Nothing would be more miserable! And all of this without God to help us! But we cry out, "Don't even imagine such a thing, for I would be like an orphan
without a father -- helpless and hopeless
."

But, think of those individuals without Christ as their Saviour, living for 20, 30, or 40 years without God
-- without prayer -- without trust -- without hope -- without life.

I am concerned that many are here who despise His care, and are living without Him. You will be so from the beginning of the year to the end of the year, if you do not have Christ
as your personal Saviour.

Charles Spurgeon tells of an eccentric minister, who was taking a morning walk, and met a man going to work.
The minister said, "What a beautiful morning! How grateful we ought to be to God for all His mercies!"

The man replied that he didn't know about that.

The minister said, "Why, I suppose that you always pray to God for your life
and for your children -- don't you
?"

The man answered, "No! I never pray!"

Then the pastor said, "If you never pray, I'll tell you what I'll do.
I'll give you $50 if you will promise me that you will never pray as long as you live
."

The man took the $50: "Sure, I'll take the $50. $50 is $50. I promise never to pray again."

The man went to work.
After a while, he began to think about the bargain.
"That's an odd thing I have done. I took money and promised never to pray as long as I live." His wife said, "You sold yourself to the devil."

Then, it began to torment him.
He sold himself to the devil.

He began to attend different places of worship and thought that it was just futile
for he had sold himself to the devil.

Then one night, feeling very wretched and ill, he walked into a church and listened to the message.
The text was, "What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul!"

Then, the preacher stated that he met a man one morning who sold his soul for $50.

The man quickly got up and rushed to the front, crying: "Take it back! Take it back!"

The pastor said, "You promised that you would never pray. You took $50.
Are you saying that you now want to pray
?"

"O yes, I would give the world to be allowed to pray."

Many in this service are probably thinking that man was a fool to sell his soul for $50.
But there could be many here who are bigger fools.
They have never taken $50, and they do not pray -- and maybe never will.
There are those who will go to an everlasting hell without ever seeking God.

Suppose, I could make the text say, "If the eyes of God will not be upon you
from the beginning of this year to the end of the year, God will not hear you and God will not bless you
."
That should terrify anyone!

That should shake every soul without Christ!

But, I would hope that you would say,
"O no! I would not want to be so cursed.
I may die this year -- even this day.
God, hear me now!
I invite Jesus to come into my heart this very moment."


The moment you pray that prayer, God will hear you!
That very moment Jesus will come into your heart!

Now I speak to God's people.

If the eyes of God will be upon us from the beginning of the year to the end of the year:
May we be always active, always industrious, always hopeful, and always growing in Christ.

Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White
Email Dr. White at hleewhite@aol.com