“Guard me as the apple of Your eye: Hide me in the shadow of Your wing.” (Psalm 17:8 HCSB)
Psalm 17 is a psalm that talks repeatedly of God hearing me, paying attention to me, listening to me, SEEING me. He also answers me, hears what I say, guards and hides me, fills and satisfies me. When I think of God being my “all in all” this psalm echoes that.
I think that the above verse though, was a concept that truly captured my heart as a young Christian. Feeling a bit disenfranchised by my own family, it was thrilling to know that God delighted in me and looked at me as unique and special, within the mass of humanity He loves, and died for. I don’t get it. I’m not unique or special compared to anyone else, yet in His eyes, I am. I’m His favorite! But then – so are you! I could feel a bit jealous about this but it’s easy to fight that because. . .
None of us deserves that kind of love. The fact that it has been freely offered and I have embraced it, well, that puts me still at the mercy of an amazingly holy God, and I bow my knee in gratitude, only to look up and see a gaze filled, not with the condemnation that I so richly deserve for my sin, but with the love of a favored daughter.
Who wouldn’t want to worship a God like that? Who wouldn’t want to bend their knee and submit to His protection and leading and give all I have to someone who loves so passionately? So completely?
Interesting too, that when we are followers of Christ, He produces fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace. . . (Gal. 5). Fruit. Character that goes beyond my ability to produce on my own. Apples. He sees me as fruitful.
Remember when Jesus walked by a tree that bore no fruit? He condemned it and it died! (Matt 21:19). Jesus loves fruit! So maybe I’m a bit more of a fruit loop, but as long as I’m fruitful, I’m in the center of His vision and love. If I chose to abandon Him, I may find myself cursed and withering like that fig tree. God doesn’t move – I do, and when I do, there are consequences.
The only way to be fruitful is to stay grounded in the deep, deep soil of His truth, God’s Word, and tuned into the Holy Spirit. I do this out of deep gratitude for His unfathomable love towards me! I want to be treasured as the apple of God’s eye. Guarded as precious fruit to be preserved and sheltered from storms. Not that they won’t come and I might sometimes feel bruised, but I will always be special in His eyes. I find that a truth that today lifts my heart in praise and worship of my Mighty King. How about you?
I’m attaching a video of an ooooold song by Benny Hester that thinking on this verse reminded me of. It has a long, beautiful piano intro. Maybe you will find comfort in the words of this song: “Nobody knows me like You.” It’s true – and that knowledge is because our Creator God – loves YOU and holds You as the apple of His eye.