Kept as The Apple of His Eye

Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings. (Psalm 17:8)

In His Eyes

by Karen Holland

In His eyes, in His eyes,
You are so precious in His sight
In His eyes, in His eyes
So much love for His Bride.
In His eyes, in His eyes,
You are so precious in His sight
Held in His gaze, a beautiful jewel
The apple of His eye
Under His wings, you’ll abide
So precious in His sight, you are held
You are held
In His eyes.

This image of being kept as the apple of the LORD’s eye, hidden and protected, safe under His wings has been on my heart lately. It started with the above song the LORD gave me in July of this year. I love this image of how the LORD treasures and keeps His bride. Precious and honored in His sight are those who belong to Him, who He summons by name (Isaiah 43:1,4). His eyes continually search to and fro to strengthen those who are completely His (2 Chronicles 16:9). The eyes of the LORD never sleep; His Beloved is always held in His gaze both now and forevermore (Psalm 121:3, 7-8). Just think of it, to be so treasured by the LORD; to be His Beloved, His precious jewel. They shall be Mine, says the LORD of hosts, On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him. (Malachi 3:17)

The apple of His eye.
The Hebrew word for apple in these verses is ‘iyshown. It is defined as: 1) pupil of the eye 2) middle of the night (that is the deepest blackness); the little man of the eye; the pupil or ball; hence, the middle (of night):-apple (of the eye), black, obscure.

Literally the phrase ‘the apple of the eye’, is “the little man or daughter or the black {pupil} of the eye.” It is that part of the eye which reflects what you are looking at; what you are focused on. The thing that is reflected in the pupil of your eye most frequently is what is most important and precious to you. Think of it, God Himself uses this phrase when speaking of His people! …He kept him as the apple of His eye (Deuteronomy 32:10); …for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of His eye (Zechariah. 2:8).

How wonderful would it be to be kept as the apple of God’s eye; His Beloved? To be cherished and protected as a precious daughter, much like a mother bird would protect her young. Her children safe under her wings, covered with her feathers.

Ruth is an example of this; a type of the Beloved who seeks a home, a husband, a safe place of refuge under the LORD’s wings. Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, May the LORD grant that each of you will find rest in the house of another husband. Then she kissed them and they wept aloud.
(Ruth 1:9)

One day Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, My daughter, should I not try to find a home for you, where you will be well provided for?
(Ruth 3:1)

The Hebrew word for home used in Ruth 3:1 is manowach.
In NET: resting place 2, place of peaceful rest 1, placed 1, nest 1, home 1.
Manowach is defined: 1) resting place, state or condition of rest, place;
1a) resting place;
1b) rest, repose, condition of rest;
1c) coming to rest;
quiet, i.e. (concretely) a settled spot, or (figuratively) a home:-(place of) rest.

It’s no coincidence that it is near midnight(the deepest blackest part of the night) when Boaz recognizes Ruth at His feet! It’s then when their eyes first meet, and it’s then that Ruth asks and is covered.

In the middle of the night something startled the man, and he turned and discovered a woman lying at his feet. He said, Who are you? And she answered, I am Ruth your maid. So spread your covering over your maid, for you are a near kinsman. {a near…: or, one that has right to redeem} Then he said, Blessed are you of the LORD, my daughter! For you have shown more kindness at the end than at the beginning, in that you did not go after young men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you request, for all the people of my town know that you are a virtuous woman.
(Ruth 3:8-11)

The Hebrew word for covering in Ruth 3:9 is kanaph.
Kanaph is defined: 1) wing, extremity, edge, winged, border, corner, shirt;
1a) wing; 1b) extremity; 1b1) skirt, corner (of garment); an edge or extremity; specifically (of a bird or army) a wing, (of a garment or bed-clothing) a flap, (of the earth) a quarter, (of a building) a pinnacle:-+ bird, border, corner, end, feather(-ed), X flying, + (one an-)other, overspreading, X quarters, skirt, X sort, uttermost part, wing((-ed)).

Ruth, what a beautiful picture of the Beloved resting at the kinsman redeemer’s feet. He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness and His truth will be your shield and protective wall (Psalm 91:1, 4). Covered, safe under His wing, held secure through the dark night until the joy, the dawn of morning’s bright light (Psalm 30:5). Oh to be found resting at His feet , to be able to ask for and receive His covering. This is what we as Christians should be seeking; that we would be found resting at His feet, pleasing in His sight, even in the darkest part of the night!

What is pleasing in the LORD’s sight; in His eyes? Ruth was a virtuous woman who endured to the end. She prepared herself before going to the threshing floor to lie at Boaz’s feet.

Wash yourself therefore, and anoint yourself and put on your best clothes, and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. It shall be when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies, and you shall go and uncover his feet and lie down; then he will tell you what you shall do.
(Ruth 2:3-4)

We likewise should be washed in the water of the word (Ephesians 5:25-27) and put on proper clothes.

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
(Colossians 3:12-14)

Proper fear and respect of the LORD is also important. Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy (Psalm 33:18). Then those (The LORD’s jewels) who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name (Malachi 3:17).

Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name. I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.
(Psalm 86:11-12)

The Hebrew word for unite in Psalm 86:11 is yachad.
Yachad is defined: 1) to join, unite, be joined, be united;
1a) (Qal) to be united;
1b) (Piel) to unite;
a primitive root; to be (or become) one:-join, unite.

To unite, to join, to become one, speaks of becoming His bride. The fear, reverent awe, of the LORD drives this union. It’s the fear of the LORD, abiding ‘in’ the vine that brings forth right fruit, fruit that remains (John 15). Look what springs forth from this union, this joining of hearts, this abiding in the secret place of the Most High; His eternal praise! Putting on the clothes of Colossians 3 also results in thankfulness and singing. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father (Colossians 3:16-17). At the marriage feast of the Lamb, all servants of the LORD, those who fear Him are commanded to praise Him (Revelations 19:5). Being hidden, kept, joined under His wings is a place of singing for joy (Psalm 63:7)! This place of special union as His bride, abiding and remaining in His word; this brings forth His praise!

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever.
(Psalm 111:10)

My son {child}, keep my words, and treasure my commands within you. Keep my commandments and live, and my teaching as the apple of your eye.
(Proverbs 7:1-2)

To be kept as the apple of His eye we must treasure and keep His teachings as ‘the apple of our eye’. The reflection in the eye of the Beloved should be that of Christ. He should be the consuming passion, the single focus. The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear {single. true}, your whole body will be full of light (Matthew 6:22).

Both the LORD and the beloved have this singleness of eye for one another, the eyes of a dove.

His eyes are like doves beside streams of water, bathed in milk, and reposed in their setting.
(Song of Solomon 5:12)

How beautiful you are, my darling, How beautiful you are! Your eyes are like doves behind your veil;
(Song of Solomon 4:1, 1:15)

The dove; when a dove fixes its gaze upon its mate, it is not distracted by any activities around it. It possesses a singleness of eye for its mate alone. I wrote about this previously in my article ‘The Heart of a Dove’. Also note that the examples given of those who had this singleness of eye – the heart of a dove, the women Jesus first appeared to after the tomb (Matthew 28:5-10), John (Revelation 1:12-18), and Mary (John 12:1-7) all were found at the feet of Jesus in awe and worship.

This continued beholding of the bridegroom also results in the stripping away of the veil, revealing the Lord’s glory. The bride is transformed in Christ’s likeness with ever-increasing glory. The more the bride is transformed, the more she reflects the eyes of her lover, the eyes of the dove; the heart of the dove. The gaze of the bride challenges anyone who sees it to also turn to the Lord, to behold Him and receive His Spirit.

But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is stripped off and taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And all of us, as with unveiled face, continued to behold as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
(2 Corinthians 3:16-18)

Oh, to be so united; joined to the LORD that He is reflected and seen as the apple of our eye!

Unite My Heart
by Karen Holland

O LORD, unite my heart to fear Your name
To hear Your voice to trust and obey
That you might be seen as the apple of my eye
That I might walk in Your truth and way
To truly glorify You with all honor and praise.
Cleanse me with the washing of Your word -Ephesians 5:26
Purify my heart, make it holy, without blame
Give me a totally undivided heart, I pray
That I might serve You dwelling in the shelter of Your wings all of my days. -Psalm 61:4
O LORD, unite my heart to fear Your name
With all my heart I will give You praise;
Forever I will glorify and honor Your Holy name.
O LORD abide in me, show me how to abide in thee!
Keep me as the apple of your eye;
In the shadow of your wings, hide me.

May the God of peace … the great Shepherd of the sheep … make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
(Hebrews 13:20-21 NKJV)

May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge. May I continue to find favor in your eyes, my lord, she said.
(Ruth 2:12-13)