You are the apple of my eye! Have you ever heard that expression? Probably not recently in common usage, but maybe in an old movie or a historical novel.
There was actually a song that made the charts by that name in 1956. It was sung by Frankie Valli and the Four Lovers. The group later changed their name to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and re-released the song in 1961.
Interesting story, songwriter Otis Blackwell had originally written a different song for the group and sold it to them for $25.00. Another artist wanted the original song, and Blackwell decided to take a chance. He offered Franki and his group the song Apple of my Eye, and they took that for their $25.00. The other artist only offered Blackwell a percentage of the record sales. That song was, don’t be cruel, and the singer was Elvis.
See, you learn stuff at church.
Collin’s dictionary defines the phrase this way: The Apple of my eye: If you say that someone is the apple of your eye, you mean that they are very important to you and you are extremely fond of them.
This is week two of our summer series. Say What? And we are going to be looking at everyday phrases that are found in the Bible. They may have their origin there, for example “Cast the first stone” and “the Good Samaritan” or it may simply be where they first became popular.
Last week we looked at the phrase, Am I my brother’s keeper, from Genesis chapter 4. It was the story of the murder of Abel by his brother Cain. And we looked at what it means to be our brother’s keeper, or more broadly what it means to be responsible for those in our family, especially when it comes to being a part of the family of God.
Now, to be truthful, this particular phrase didn’t even make my original list.
I didn’t actually realize that it was found in the bible until a friend of mine posted a picture of her new apple tattoo along with the scripture reference. So, thank you Lindsay, I owe you this message.
The phrase Apple of his eye or apple of my eye is found in five different places in various translations of the bible. You can find the phrase in the books of Deuteronomy, Proverbs, Lamentations, Zechariah and of course in the scripture that Euan read for us earlier in Psalm 17:8.
Now to be fair, the phrase “The apple of my eye” was not used in the original language, but when translators sought a suitable phrase to convey the thoughts of the original writers that is what they’ve come up with.
So let’s go back to Collin’s definition. When God’s word says you are the apple of God’s eye it means that you are very important to God and God is extremely fond of you.
Do you feel special? Do you rejoice in who you are? Do you rejoice in what you are? Or do you feel like sitting in the corner and crying out, “nobody loves me, everybody hates me, I’m gonna eat some worms, long thin slimy ones, short fat juicy ones, I’m gonna eat some worms.”
Some times in a world that moves as fast as ours, in a society that dotes on the Harry and Meagans of the world, it’s easy to feel ordinary or maybe even less than ordinary.
It’s easy to feel like we don’t matter to anyone and to feel like we are worthless or less than worthless. But I’m here to tell you that you are special to someone, not just anyone you are special in the eyes of God the master of the universe. You not only matter to God, you are the apple of his eye. So, why is that? And what does it mean to be the apple of God’s eye?
And that’s a good question, it’s certainly one that I’ve struggled with. After all, why should someone as insignificant as a commercial fisherman on the east coast of Canada be invited to not only meet the creator of the universe but to share a relationship with him. To not only come into his presence as a subject but to leave as a son? Why should God care for you? For the same reasons that he cared for me.
The first thing I want you to realize this morning is that you’re not ordinary. You’re not an accident or an afterthought. From the very beginning you were part of the plan.
King David of David and Goliath fame summed it up best when he wrote in Psalm 139:13 You (God) made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
God Is Your Creator, so You’re the Apple of his Eye
You are a masterpiece of the almighty God. You are not an accident, you are not an oops in the grand plan, you are an intentional creation of God. He made you who you are and he made you what you are.
Think about it you are a walking, talking miracle. Only God could have made you what you are. Engineers have never been able to come close to devising a machine equal to God’s supreme achievement, you.
Every minute of your lives your heart pumps over five litres of blood through your body. That’s over 300 litres of blood an hour, 7,200 litres of blood a day pumped through a network of 96,000 km of arteries, veins and capillaries.
You probably never think about it, but you represent on the average, 5 million hairs, 20 sq. Feet of skin, 650 muscles, 206 bones, 100 joints, 96,000 km of blood vessels and over 13 million nerve cells.
Within you there is enough fat for four cakes of soap. Enough lime to whitewash a small shed. The carbon equivalent of 14 kilograms of coal. Enough phosphorus to make 2,200 matches. Enough iron for a 1-inch nail and for good measure a spoonful of sulphur and 28 grams of various metals other than iron. In the course of your lifetime you will eat 45,400 kilos of food, drink 45,000 litres of liquid and walk about 24,000 km.
As a matter of fact, Life Gem, a company in Illinois, says it can turn cremated remains into diamonds. They remove the carbon, turn it into graphite and simulate the conditions that create a diamond, and Voila, for only $3500.00 American, your no good smelly brother-in-law is now, as he always told you, a diamond in the rough weighing in at about a quarter carat.
Is it any wonder that David went on to write in Psalm 139:14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvellous—and how well I know it.
You are not a mistake, or a goof, or an accident. You are a divine creation, spoke into being by the same God who fashioned the great barrier reef who moulded the Rocky Mountains with his hands, scooped out the Grand Canyon with his fingers, cast the milky way into the night sky and imagined the Northern Lights.
And at some point, that same God thought; this is pretty cool, but what it really needs is a Denn. And the same God who created the entire universe, created me and created you.
To question the creator or to belittle his creation is pretty close to blaspheme. And maybe you’re thinking, “But preacher, I’m not very tall, or very athletic, or very pretty, and I can’t carry a tune in a bucket and have no rhythm to speak of.”
Have you ever watched God doodle in the evening sky with a sunset?
And as you stood there and marvelled at the master’s hand in nature, do you ever shout to the heavens, “hey, you could use a little more purple in the back and the oranges aren’t quite as vivid as they could be.”?
Every one of us is as unique as a sunset, and each one of us is precious to God because of our uniqueness, because he is the one who made us unique.
And when I say, “If I was creating Denn, I would have given him longer legs and skipped the lisp.” I am questioning God’s wisdom and creative imagination.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
And we aren’t the apple of God’s eye simply because he’s our creator. It goes deeper than that because he wants to be more than our creator. He wants to be our saviour.
At some point, God looked at heaven and said “This place is almost perfect, but it needs a Denn
Because You are the Apple of God’s Eye, He Wants to be Your Saviour
Sometimes the problem is that we are too familiar with John 3:16. For God so loved the world, and you know as well as I do that the world is a pretty big place, and it’s got a lot of people, at last count there were 7,876,532,110 … 11…12…13…14
Anyway, there are a lot of people out there and sometimes we divide God’s love by that number and we think well that doesn’t leave very much for me. But dividing God’s love isn’t like splitting a pizza. Because with God’s love there is as much love there for me, or for you as there is for the entire world.
We could read John 3:16 “For God so loved Denn that he gave his only Son, so that if Denn believes in him, then Denn will not perish but have eternal life. And not only did he love me that much but he loved you that much too.
You need to be able to look in the mirror and say, for God loved me so much, that he gave his one and only son.
Maybe we would do well to start off every day by singing “Jesus loves me this I know for the bible tells me so, little ones to him belong, they are weak but he is strong. Yes Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me the Bible tells me so.”
Can you imagine a king loving you so much that they would willingly give up their throne and live as a commoner for thirty-three years and then would be willing to die in your place? Pretty awesome thought isn’t it.
Eighty-five years ago, the world stood in awe at the power of love when Edward the Eighth abdicated the throne to England because of his love for Wallis Simpson. But the sacrifice he made for his love was minute compared to the love of God for each one of us.
From the beginning of time sin has separated man from his God, and man has sought to bridge that gap through rules, and regulations, through offerings and sacrifices. The prophet Isaiah said in Isaiah 64:6 We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind.
And because of that reality, no matter how good we are, we are never good enough. And we end up like a dog chasing our tails.
And into that confusion stepped God Almighty in human form, and the bible tells us that he took our sins on himself, and he paid the price. A price that we could never pay on our own. A price that he paid willingly. Titus 3:5 he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.
And in 1 John 4:10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
You are so special that Jesus Christ came to this earth and lived and died so that you could be saved. So that you could have eternal life. He’s your creator. We had no choice in that; it wasn’t our decision. But God wants to be more than simply your creator, he wants to be your saviour, and that will ultimately be your choice. But it goes even further than that because John the apostles tells us in John 1:12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.
Now that is a gift, the right to become the children of God. You are so special to God, that he gave you the right to become a child of His. He gives you the right to say “my father created the universe, he is the master of everything, he is almighty God.”
Do you realize how special you need to be offered the keys to the kingdom of God. What if Queen Elizabeth phoned you tomorrow and said, “I’m really disappointed with Chuck, Anne, Andy, really disappointed in Andy, and Eddie and so I would really like for you to become my child? Everything I have is yours, you will be the heir to my throne, all my power, all my resources, everything I have will be yours” what would your reaction be?
Not interested, oh, come on, think about it. An exorbitant salary, fishing in the highlands, driving around in expensive cars. It would be a lot like my job, except for the exorbitant salary, fishing in the highlands and driving around in expensive cars.
Now the chances of that happening are pretty slim. But that is what God is offering you. He’s offering to let you be his child, with all the perks that go along with it.
But as awesome as it is to realize that we were part of the plan, that God created us just like he created the heavens and the earth. And to realize that God loved us so much that he was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for us. That it goes even further than that because we read Jesus’ words in John 15:15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.
To be called a friend of God. What a jolt. You see, God could simply be our creator. But it is more than that, because not only is God your creator, not only is he your saviour, and not only does he offer to become your father but he wants to be your friend.
Because You are the Apple of His Eye, God Desires to be your Friend.
God wants to be more than simply our creator, and even more than our Father. He wants to be our friend. You’ve all heard the expression “you can pick your friends, but you’re stuck with your relatives.” The flip side of that is that nobody can force you to be their friend, and you can’t force anybody to be your friend.
And Jesus is telling his followers that he is choosing them to be his friends, not just his servants. Now being called a servant of God is no slight. Joshua was called a servant of God, Moses was called a servant of God, David was called a servant of God.
It’s not bad company to keep. But there is a difference between being a servant and being a friend. It is spelled out in Isaiah 41:8 “But as for you, Israel my servant, Jacob my chosen one, descended from Abraham . . .” High praise indeed, but let’s finish the scripture, Isaiah 41:8-9 “But as for you, Israel my servant, Jacob my chosen one, descended from Abraham my friend, I have called you back from the ends of the earth, saying, ‘You are my servant.’ For I have chosen you and will not throw you away.”
Later in the letter he wrote to the early church, James the brother of Jesus writes this, James 2:23 And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God.
The only other place it comes close is in this description of Moses meeting with God in Exodus 33:11 Inside the Tent of Meeting, the LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.
A couple of weeks ago I took you back to your elementary school days and we talked about what a simile was. You might remember it is a comparison between two things using like or as. So this passage doesn’t say that Moses was actually a friend of God, just that God spoke to him as one speaks to a friend. The only person who is given the title friend of God in the entire Bible is Abraham.
Until Jesus tells his followers in John 15:15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.
Friendship is a choice, and God has chosen to be your friend. And maybe you are thinking, “But you don’t understand preacher, I’m not worthy to be Jesus’ friend, I’m not a very nice person at all.” That doesn’t matter. When the religious leaders of Jesus’ day were trying to say nasty things about Jesus, one of the charges they made was that he was a friend of sinners, and things don’t change.
Who’s your best friend? Good question? My best friend is Reg Thomas. Reg and I have been bestest buddies since we were fourteen years old, so for like twenty-five years or so.
We have absolutely nothing in common except our friendship. We’ve always been a bit of an odd couple, kind of a Mutt and Jeff pair, I’m tall and he’s short. We have never really enjoyed the same hobbies, or enjoyed the same subjects in school. We don’t share political views or musical tastes.
But there isn’t anything in this world that I wouldn’t do for Reg. They say that blood is thicker than water, and there isn’t anyone in my family whose relationship even comes close to what Reg and I have.
Solomon could have been writing about our friendship when he wrote in Proverbs 18:24 NKJV A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
And that is the relationship that God has offered to you, the offer of friendship. Why because he cares for you. Plain and simple. You say, but I have nothing to offer God. You got that one right.
There was a time if you were to go into Deborah’s room when she was a child that you would find dolls. Big dolls and little dolls, dolls that you could curl their hair and dolls that cried, dolls that walked and dolls that weed. All kinds of dolls.
But if you were to ask which of those dolls was her favourite, your attention would be directed to a baby doll that my grandmother gave Deb on her second Christmas.
She called this doll Sarah. Well, she actually called all of her dolls Sarah, but this was the original Sarah. And Sarah had no toes because they have fallen off. One leg was held on with sticky tape, and in all fairness, Sarah was pretty grungy. But Deborah loved Sarah. She loved her more than any of her other dolls, and Deborah loved Sarah because of who she was and not because of what she does.
God loves you for who you are, and that is a very special and unique individual. You are the apple of his eye.