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A God Who Sleeps?

February 22, 2019
By Martin Luther

[The LORD'S] eyes see, His eyelids test the children of man.

PSALM 11:4

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A God Who Sleeps?

According to Cassiodorus…."eyes" denote God's clear knowledge concerning the righteous, while "eyelids" are, as it were, sleep and ignorance concerning the unrighteous. Not that God did not see both with equal clarity, but that He appears to the people themselves to be like this. For the righteous always act (in fear) as if the Lord saw them. But the ungodly walk along smugly, as if God has His eyelids closed and did not see them, even though He examines them, too, and knocks, warning their conscience, as Revelation 3:20 says: "I stand at the door and knock, etc." . . . Therefore if a person does not yet fear and see God everywhere and at all times, the eyes of the Lord do not yet look at him, for God is sleeping as far as he is concerned, even though God cannot sleep. . .. His "eyes" are open when He causes us to have open eyes and to be watchful. But they are "eyelids" for Him when He lets us sleep and snore or permits us not to think about Him at all, etc.

From First Lectures on the Psalms, on Psalm 11 (Luther's Works 10:99-100)

February 22

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