I have made a covenant with my eyes; why then should I look upon a young woman?
To break a covenant in the ancient Near East was serious business, resulting in shame or judgment (Joshua 9). That’s why Job’s act was so extraordinary: He made a covenant with his eyes. He couldn’t cast his eyes lustfully upon a young woman; to do so would break his covenant of purity with his eyes (Matthew 5:28).
Why did Job make a covenant with his eyes instead of his tongue, hands, or feet? Surely, he wanted to keep those body parts pure. Perhaps he viewed sight—his eyes—as a gateway for temptation. The tongue, hands, and feet only put in motion what the mind has conceived. And often the mind depends on visual information for its ideas. And perhaps he knew that sight was the gateway for mankind’s original sin: “When [Eve] saw that the tree was good for food . . . she took of its fruit and ate” (Genesis 3:6, emphasis added). Those details are of lesser importance—the point of Job’s action is that he took willful steps to live a pure life before God. And he chose a covenant with his eyes as a way to express his commitment.
Are there any steps you can take to decrease the likelihood of yielding to the temptation to sin? Job’s example may be a good place to begin.
Guarding our hearts begins with guarding our eyes and ears.