For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he ponders all his goings.
This verse is added as a powerful reason why the worst sins should be avoided. A man under temptation may well address himself thus -
"Nor let my weaker passions dare Consent to sin; for God is there."
I. THE VARIED ENERGIES AND ACTIONS OF MAN. Many are "the ways of man;" "all his goings" cannot easily be told. There is
(1) his innermost thought starring in his mind;
(2) then his feeling or desire in some direction;
(3) then his resolution, the decision of his will;
(4) then his planning and arranging;
(5) then his consultation and cooperation with others;
(6) then his execution.
Or we may consider the variety of his actions by regarding them as
(1) beginning and ending with himself;
(2) affecting his immediate circle, his own family;
(3) reaching and influencing his neighbours;
(4) acting upon those who will come after him.
The forms of human activity are indefinitely numerous - so complex is his nature, so various are his relations to his kind and the world in which he lives.
II. GOD'S NOTICE OF ALL OUR DOINGS. "The ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord." Every thought is thought, every feeling felt, every resolve made, every plan formed, every word spoken, every deed done, under his all-observing eye. "Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight, but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do" (Hebrews 4:13; see 2 Chronicles 16:9; Job 31:4; Psalm 139:2-12; and Proverbs 15:3). The eyes of the Lord not only cover the earth and the heavens, but they look everywhere within; through the thick curtains of the night his own hand has spread, and through the thickest folds our hand can draw, and through the walls of our human frame into the inner chambers and darkest recesses of our souls.
III. GOD'S MEASURE OF OUR DOINGS. "He pondereth all his goings." God weighs all that he sees in the scales of his Divine wisdom and righteousness. He marks every thought, word, deed; and he estimates their worth, their excellency or their guilt. Never any way taken, any course entered upon, but all the motives which led to its choice and execution are before the mind of God, and are accepted or are blamed by him. And this being so, there must be -
IV. GOD'S REMEMBRANCE OF OUR PAST AS WELL AS HIS OBSERVATION OF OUR PRESENT LIFE. For the Omniscient One cannot forget; and it may be that, in some way unknown to us, but quite in accordance with some ascertained facts, all our past actions are spread out before his sight in some part of his universe. Certainly the effects of all we have done abide, either in our own character and life or in those of other men. Our ways, past and present, are before him; he is estimating the moral character, for good or ill, of all our goings. Therefore:
1. In view of all our guilt, let us seek his mercy in Christ Jesus. For it is a truth consistent with the foregoing, that, if there be repentance and faith, all our sins shall "be cast into the depths of the sea" (Amos 7:19). God will "hide his face from our sins. and blot out our iniquities" (Psalm 51:9).
2. In view of God's observation and judgment, let us strive to please him. If we yield our hearts to himself and our lives to his service, if we accept eternal life at his hands through Jesus Christ, and then seek to be and to do what is right in his sight, we shall do that which he will look upon with Divine approval, with fatherly delight (Galatians 4:1; Hebrews 11:5; Hebrews 13:16; 1 Peter 2:20, etc.). - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.