The Apple of My Eye

The term apple of my eye is a phrase used to describe someone who is dear and precious. When a father says that his daughter is 'the apple of my eye', he means that she is precious to him; she holds a very special place in his heart. Regardless of her status in the community, she is irreplaceable; her life enriches his and without her, the father would struggle to find a reason to go on living. His affection for her remains steadfast. She is the apple of his eye .

In the same way, the Eternal has expressed His affection for His people, Israel. "'Up Zion! . . . For thus says the LORD of hosts: 'He sent me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye.'" (Zechariah 2:7-8)

Just as a daughter is cherished by her father, so too, the children of Israel are cherished by the LORD God and are bound up in the affections of the Almighty. In the same way that the daughter is irreplaceable to her father, so too the children of Israel are precious in the eyes of the LORD.

Significantly, the Eternal reveals His bond with His people, Israel, is when they are being mistreated by the nations. This abuse is viewed as an attack on the Eternal, Himself; when Israel is violated, so too is He, because "he who touches you touches the apple of his eye."

In spite of the nations' rage against Israel, Zechariah the prophet reveals that God will actually get the glory. "He sent me after glory, to the nations which plunder you…" No matter what nations plan, or attempt to do against Israel, it will be all for nothing. Not only will Israel will survive but the LORD God will get the glory.

History is littered with empires and leaders who have risen to greatness and fame, only to meet their demise because they have touched "the apple of his eye" . Let these lessons of history serve as a warning to nations today.

Recognition that Israel is the object of the Eternals' affection is a step in the right direction. Ultimately, it must be acknowledged that Israel has a Divine purpose. It is for this reason that the Eternal looks upon Israel with such affection, as the apple of His eye.

The apple of one's eye is the pupil. It is also known as the gate to the eye because it allows light to pass through so that an image can be formed on the back part of the eye. In the same way, Israel, as the apple of His eye, is the gate through which God's light – His Word, His Messiah, the covenants, the promises, the Temple services – can be seen.

Also, the apple of the eye is crucial to sight and for focusing on images correctly. Likewise, Israel is crucial to the sight of the nations. Without Israel, the nations would grope in darkness. Through Israel, the nations can see God at work, and can witness His faithfulness. The knowledge of the Creator, the King of the Universe, is dispersed to the nations through His gate, Israel.

Israel is the only nation to whom the Eternal entrusted the Law, the covenants and the promises of God, the Temple and its ordinances. These have enabled Israel to be the gate of Divine light, through which the Eternal's glory has been reflected to the nations.

"He declares His word to Jacob, His statutes and His judgements to Israel. He has not dealt thus with any nation; and as for His judgements, they have not known them. Praise the LORD!" (Psalm 147:19-20)

The nations have been blessed with a hope for eternal life through Israel. No other nation can offer such hope. For this reason, the nations depend on Israel for salvation.

Israel maintains a unique position as the People of God, as the "the apple of his eye." The nations have an opportunity to honour the people of Israel, and to encourage them in their duties and responsibilities as the gate.

Sadly, history records that the nations have been indifferent toward Israel. Time and time again the people of Israel have not received the honour due to them. Instead, Israel has suffered grievously at the hands of the nations.

To make matters worse, no one benefits when the nations plunder Israel. Not only does Israel suffer, but the nations miss out on the benefits they would normally receive when Israel is honoured.

Undoubtedly, Israel is precious to the LORD. Yet in our day, the Chosen People are being violated by the nations who are demanding that they give up land. Israel is under enormous pressure to comply and to make other significant concessions. Yet, what nation has stopped to consider the people of Israel as "the apple of his eye" ?

These demands are neither beneficial for the nations nor Israel. The road to peace is to fear the God of Israel. The road to blessing for the nations is to honour the people of Israel as the apple of His eye.

History bears a clear warning for the present. If nations persist in policies which plunder Israel, those nations will suffer. To be sure, the LORD will not stand idly by while "the apple of his eye" is being touched.

Such treatment of any people, nation, or group is undesirable. How more important then that it should not happen to the people of Israel, surely not to the apple of His eye.

Let the nations acknowledge the unique position of the people of Israel. And let them rejoice with Israel, as the prophet declared, "Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations; proclaim, give praise, and say, 'O LORD, save your people, the remnant of Israel!'" (Jeremiah 31:7)