“Give Light to My Eyes”

Yael Eckstein  |  May 31, 2020

Close up image of a woman's brown eye with mascara on.

Look on me and answer, LORD my God.
        Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death.
— Psalm 13:3

In honor of my father, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, and his lifework helping Christians understand the Jewish roots of their faith, I offer you one of his devotional teachings from the beloved Psalms.

Maybe this has happened to you: You just received the newest electronic gadget, and you can’t get it to work. As you spin it round and round, you try this button and that one. You change the batteries, charge it up. Still nothing. Hours later it hits you — or maybe someone half your age points it out to you: You forgot to turn it on! The answer had been right in front of your eyes all along.

In Psalm 13, David found himself in a seemingly hopeless situation. He asked, “How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” (v.1). David was in a tough situation and it didn’t seem to be getting better. So he prayed, “Look on me and answer, LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death.” In essence, David was saying, “I know there is a solution to my problem. I just need You, Lord, to open my eyes so that I can see it.”

This reminds me of another person from the Bible who was in a hopeless situation. Hagar, Sarah’s servant who had given birth to Ishmael, had been sent away from Abraham’s home. She and her son were alone in the desert with no more food or water. At that point, Hagar resolved that she and her young son would die. She walked away from her son so that she would not have to watch him die and then she sat down and cried.

An angel appeared to Hagar and told her that God had heard her son’s cries and that they both would live. The Bible tells us, “Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water” (Genesis 21:19). Hagar and her son were saved.

Notice that Scripture does not say that God miraculously created a well of water. The well had been there all along, only Hagar could not see it. It’s only when God opened her eyes that she could see the solution to her problem which had been right in front of her.

Sometimes when we are feeling hopeless, stressed, or afraid, we lack the vision to see how we can help ourselves. Sometimes, we can be feeling great and still lack the ability to see what is best for us. At all times, we must turn to God and pray as David prayed that He will “Give light to my eyes” — that He will open our eyes and illuminate our souls so that we can see the path that leads to our salvation. Then, like David, we, too, will joyfully sing “my heart rejoices in your salvation” (v.5.)

Your turn: Download a complimentary sample of my new book, Generation to Generation, at generationbook.org to learn more about passing on our faith to the next generation.