Where we fix our focus determines our destiny. Letting our eyes linger on an object, person, or goal that doesn’t meet God’s approval will land us in trouble. Case in point – Oholibah.
You might wonder, Who in the world is Oholibah? Truth be told, I hadn’t a clue who she was until I studied the book of Ezekiel for writing my “First 5” Bible study assignments (Proverbs 31 Ministries). I discovered that she’s an allegorical adulteress. That’s a mouthful, eh?
Ezekiel 23:14-17 tells of Oholibah gazing at pictures of Babylonian military officers on a wall. The pictures appeal to her. Instead of turning her eyes away, she lets them linger until she begins to lust. Then she acts on that lust. An illicit relationship follows, and her lovers eventually destroy her.
In this allegory, Oholibah represents Judah. God had warned His people against pursuing relationships with ungodly nations. He knew that doing so would lead to adopting foreign gods and religious customs. His people would fall into idolatry, and this would destroy them. Sure enough, He was right. Judah formed a political alliance with Babylon, she fell into idolatry, and Babylon destroyed her.
Oholibah’s destiny might have been much different had she applied Psalm 119:37 when gazing on the pictures of the Babylonian military officers. It says, “Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.” Fixing her gaze on God, the One who promised her His undying love, would have kept her affection in the right place and saved her from destruction.
As I thought about how Oholibah’s focus determined her destiny, I realized that Eve shared a similar story. “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes…, she took of its fruit and ate…”(Genesis 3:6).
Potiphar’s wife followed the same path. “And after a time his master’s wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, “Lie with me” (Genesis 39:7).
And then came David’s adultery. “…he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful” (2 Samuel 11:2).
On what might we fix our eyes to our detriment? Here are a few ideas that come to mind:
- Material possessions
- A goal of trying to impress others
- A person other than our spouse
- Position or power
Rather than focusing on things that appeal to us yet fall short of God’s standard or approval, let’s be intentional about fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. (Hebrews 12:2 NIV) Here are 3 ways we can do so:
- Read God’s Word on a regular basis. Ask Him to give you an unquenchable desire for it. The more we read His Word as His love letter to us, the more we understand His desire for relationship with us and that His purposes for us are good. This understanding strengthens our commitment to follow Him.
- Keep an ongoing conversation with the Lord. Involve Him in every aspect of your life, even the mundane. This makes us more mindful of His presence and less likely to turn our focus elsewhere.
- Live in moment-by-moment revival. This means that we keep short accounts with God. The moment we’re aware that we’ve fixed our gaze on a lesser god, we confess and bring our focus back to where it belongs—on Jesus.
Where we fix our focus determines our destiny. Therefore, turn your eyes from worthless things. Focus on Jesus, and you’ll discover the abundant life He intended for you.
Question: What other worthless things might we be tempted to focus on?
#FocusOnJesus #NoWorthlessThing #bgbg2 #Truth