He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed ; for he giveth of his bread to the poor. (Proverbs 22:9)
Where there is no vision, the people perish : but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. (Proverbs 29:18)
The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. (Luke 11:34)
A huge part of the Christian walk is perspective. Seeing things the right way… the way God sees them. Seeing the good, even when it’s buried deep. Sometimes, God needs to show us something we can’t see naturally, so He steps in with dreams / visions. Dreams were used dozens of times in the Bible as a Divine attention-getting tactic. God sent dreams to kings and pharaohs, to prophets and patriarchs, and to men and women.
Joseph is the best-known “Dreamer” in the entire Bible. He saw things that nobody else could see. He was given dreams. He was given the insight to understand the meanings of dreams. Even as his circumstances went from bad to worse, he was a visionary of sorts. He had a bountiful eye to see what God wanted Him to – not only while he slept, but also while he lived day by day. The following 3 thoughts are applications from Joseph’s ‘bountiful eye’ perspective:
a bountiful eye: Trusts God by Faith
In Genesis 40, we find Joseph in prison. He wakes up to a troubled set of inmates: the butler and the baker (v5-8). They are sad because they did not know what the dream meant. Joseph’s response was one of immediate faith: ‘Don’t interpretations belong to God? Let’s trust Him for the answer!’ A bountiful eye might not always see “Why” things happen the way they do, but it sees “Who” is in control. It looks to the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, ever-loving God in the midst of the worst of the worst. It sees past the doubt and fear, looking for God to intervene.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for , the evidence of things not seen. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is , and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:1,6) Look through your circumstances with a bountiful eye. See God, invisibly at work, rewarding His followers. Joseph saw that it was God all the way ( “ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good” Genesis 50:20)
a bountiful eye: Looks to the Future with Hope
In Genesis 41, Joseph is summoned from the prison to interpret Pharaoh’s dream (v25-32). The meaning of the dream was bad news for Egypt, yet Joseph immediately set forth positive ideas that would position the nation to be ready for the coming difficulties (v33-37). A bountiful eye looks beyond the predictions, sees through the statistics, and expects God’s grace to prevail. It doesn’t know “How” it will get done, but it knows “Who” will do it. It is not cynical about the future, it anticipates change and gets involved in it!
“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing , that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 15:13) Our hope is not in deliverance, in victory, in men, nor in Heaven… these are all secondary effects to the One Cause. Our hope must remain in the God of hope by the power of the Spirit. If we hope in God, we will gain happiness, peace, and even more hope of God’s great grace.
a bountiful eye: Sees People with Love
In Genesis 45, Joseph reveals his real identity to his family. He couldn’t stand it any more, he was about to burst with emotion, he loved them so much (v1-5, 15). Even though his brothers had sold him into slavery, treating him as an animal, he forgave them and loved them. A bountiful eye loves others unconditionally. It ignores “What” a person has done to focus on “Who” they are in Christ. It does not see people at their worst, it sees people at their best. It is not operate with a critical spirit, nor does it inventory the list of others’ mistakes / sins.
“Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Matthew 22:39) We are commanded to give others the same benefit of the doubt that you desire. With imperfect people, we are challenged to be perfect in our love – to accept others just like Christ accepts us. We must be as good to others as God is to us – that’s what it means to have a bountiful eye.
A story is told of two birds that soared far above a beautiful national park. They flew the same path, at the same altitude, at the same speed. The eagle returned to tell all about the beautiful waterfalls and streams full of trout, breath-taking landscapes of colorful fields and snow-capped mountains, and herds of wild animals roaming free. All who listened to the eagle were spellbound in amazement … until the vulture spoke up with his report. He hadn’t seen much of anything, except two dead carcasses near the road and some trash on the banks of a stream. I want to be like the eagle, the one that had vision, a bountiful eye, a body full of light.