Optical Illusions
by Pastor George Van Alstine

All the horizontal lines are perpendicular to each other,
even though they appear to slope up or down.

optical illusion

“Seeing is believing!” people say. But of course, our eyes sometimes play tricks on us. This is especially true in the spiritual realm, where the most basic realities can’t be observed with our physical eyes.

Take for example God’s approval of the boy David to lead Israel as king, over the much more imposing and experienced Saul. The prophet Samuel explained it in this way: “Do not look on his appearance. . . for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7; cf. 2 Corinthians 5:12).

God, the greatest Reality in the universe, can’t be seen with human eyes, so that it’s possible for enemies of believers to taunt “Where is their God?” (Psalm 79:10). They will soon enough have their answer when they are judged “sevenfold” by the God whose existence they doubt (verse 12).

There are no curved lines in this drawing. Your eyes are telling you curvy lies.

optical illusion

The Bible says that God has laid a clear path of righteousness before us. Other voices seem to bend the lines to make them more convenient, but Jesus encouraged us to follow God’s “straight and narrow” way (Matthew 7:14). An Old Testament Proverb puts it like this: “Sometimes there is a way that seems to be right, but in the end it is the way to death” (Proverbs 16:25).

Can you count the black dots? There’s one; no, wait; over there; I thought I saw . . .

optical illusion

It’s kind of like looking for blemishes in someone else’s life Jesus said, “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. . . Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:1-3).

What do you read when you focus on the white? Now focus on the black.

optical illusion

Jesus called some proud religious leaders “whited sepulchers,” looking beautiful on the outside, but full of death within (Matthew 23:27). On another occasion, he warned that false prophets would come as “wolves in sheep’s clothing” (Matthew 7:15). Even the Devil himself may be disguised as an “angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). In such a dangerous world as this, we can’t trust our eyes. We need the faith vision which only comes from the miracle of spiritual rebirth (Hebrews 11:1).