Somebody is Watching You
I would like for you to consider the following four Bible stories and give thought to what the stories have in common.
Story #1: In this first story, we see Isaac and Rebekah in a somewhat public place showing affection to each other. “And the men of the place asked about his wife. And he said, ‘She is my sister’; for he was afraid to say, ‘She is my wife,’ because he thought, ‘lest the men of the place kill me for Rebekah, because she is beautiful to behold.’ (8) Now it came to pass, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked through a window, and saw, and there was Isaac, showing endearment to Rebekah his wife. (9) Then Abimelech called Isaac and said, ‘Quite obviously she is your wife; so how could you say, ‘She is my sister’?’ Isaac said to him, ‘Because I said, ‘Lest I die on account of her’” (Genesis 26:7-9).
Story #2: In the next story, David, having seen Bathsheba bathing, sent messengers to bring Bathsheba to him. “So David sent and inquired about the woman. And someone said, ‘Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?’ (4) Then David sent messengers, and took her; and she came to him, and he lay with her, for she was cleansed from her impurity; and she returned to her house” (2 Samuel 11:3-4).
Story #3: In our third story, we find Moses witnessing an Egyptian beating a Hebrew. Moses decided to act. “So he looked this way and that way, and when he saw no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. (13) And when he went out the second day, behold, two Hebrew men were fighting, and he said to the one who did the wrong, ‘Why are you striking your companion?’ (14) Then he said, ‘Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?’ So Moses feared and said, ‘Surely this thing is known!’” (Exodus 2:12-14).
Story #4: In our final story, we find Peter publicly denying any association with Jesus. Here is the third time that Peter denies the Lord: “And a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter, ‘Surely you also are one of them, for your speech betrays you.’ (74) Then he began to curse and swear, saying, ‘I do not know the Man!’ Immediately a rooster crowed” (Matthew 26:73-74).
All of the four stories share a commonality related to the title of this article. In each instance, a person or persons witnessed the behavior of our subjects. For instance, Abimelech saw Isaac showing affection to Rebekah. David’s messengers witnessed Bathsheba coming to David and were probably aware of the fact that David and Bathsheba spent time alone together. In the story of Moses, the Hebrew slave witnessed Moses killing the Egyptian. In the story of Peter denying the Lord, every person within hearing distance heard Peter deny knowing the Lord. (It is possible that Jesus also heard Peter’s outburst. Luke’s gospel says the “Lord turned and looked at Peter” after the crowing of the rooster, which immediately followed Peter’s denial (cf. Luke 22:61).)
As Christians, you and I must live with the realization that we are under the scrutinizing view of the world. Everywhere we turn, people are watching us. When you pass someone in a car, that person can see you. When you approach the bank teller to make a deposit, that bank teller is watching you. When you carry your trash cans to the street curb, your neighbor across the street is watching you through his kitchen window. When you take a test at school, your teacher and classmates are watching you. While this fact may sound a bit “creepy,” it is, nevertheless, a fact of life. No matter where we go, if there are other people present, then we are under observation; we are being watched!
This knowledge, this fact, should cause each and every Christian to think long and hard before he speaks, reacts, or responds. Letting our light shine before people of the world demands that we exercise great control over our words and our actions. No matter how angry we become, no matter how irritated we may be, we must never respond in a way that would not be above reproach. We must not allow the “sun to go down upon our wrath,” we must never “give place to the devil.” If we are going to be angry (or even slightly irritated), then we must not sin (cf. Ephesians 4:26-27).
On the flip side of the coin, we must also control our emotions of friendship and love. No matter how “in love” we believe ourselves to be, and no matter how close we may view our friendships, we must always exercise self-control. We must never do anything wherein we violate the word of God.
One final thought: Let us never forget that God is always watching, even when we are alone. He sees all that we do and knows all that we think. “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? (8) If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. (9) If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, (10) Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me” (Psalms 139:7-10). Remember: Somebody is always watching!