Here’s a brief meditation I wrote down from Psalm 119, a great text for Bible reading. You might find it encouraging as you continue looking for wonderful things in God’s law this year: “Open my eyes that I may behold wonderful things out of your law” (Psalm 119:18).
Psalm 119:18 is in the Bible.
That’s amazing. God wrote a book that he knew we could not understand without a miracle. He then invites us to ask him for that miracle and even shows us how. That’s deep provision.
Psalm 119:18 is a prayer to God.
A prayer by a man who was inspired by God to write the words of God. The psalmist, whoever he is, has the best Bible-reading credentials conceivable. Yet he knows that, as a man with far inferior spiritual credentials once said, even the best of us, compared to what he ought to be, is only half awake. Apparently, no matter how much we have seen in God’s word, we never quite shake the feeling that we are like blind men at the Grand Canyon: so much to see, so little sight.
Psalm 119:18 isn’t about sight-seeing.
The Psalmist doesn’t want to see wonders in God’s word merely in the same way tourists want to see the Grand Canyon. Just two verses later he says, “My soul breaks with longing for your judgments at all times.”
For the psalmist, seeing wonders in God’s Word isn’t a nice-to-have. It’s life.
He wants to see wonders in God’s word the way the embattled commander wants to see reinforcements arrive … the way the marooned sailor wants to see a ship … the way the anxious family huddled helplessly around the suddenly still loved one wants to see the ambulance pull into view and EMTs pile out bringing life. For the psalmist, seeing wonders in God’s word isn’t a nice-to-have. It’s life.
Psalm 119:18 is, like all true prayers, prayed in the context of a pursuit.
The psalmist is already memorizing God’s word (Psalm 119:11), sharing it (Psalm 119:12), and deliberately delighting in it (Psalm 119:15)—all, it seems, with some success. But that doesn’t stop him from studying it late into the night until his contacts dry up and the words go blurry (Psalm 119:82). He has already seen wonderful things from God’s law. But he’s not satisfied and he’s far from coasting. And as he pursues, he prays: “Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from your law” (Psalm 119:18).
(Guest writer Noah Weaver lives and works in Dayton, Ohio where he mostly writes software and, sometimes, studies philosophy and theology.)