Summary: We need help in order to live as God has commanded us. God's blessing comes upon us in order that we may know Him & obey Him in a fallen world. In order to do this, however, He must open up our insight through His Wondrous Word
PSALM 119: 17-24 [The Ministry of The Word Series]
GOD'S WONDROUS WORD
[John 15:1-11 / 1 Cor. 2:11-16]
This section reveals to us the God who intervenes in our lives through His Word (CIT). In these eight verses our psalmist pleas as God's servant and pilgrim, who increasingly finds himself to be a stranger in enemy occupied territory. Devotion to God's Word marks the Lords's servant, but it alienates him from the arrogant (v. 21) of the world.
We need help in order to live as God has commanded us. God's blessing comes upon us in order that we may know Him and obey Him in a fallen world. In order to do this, however, He must open up our insight through His Wondrous Word (v. 18). For apart from His light we are too blind to see. [Williams, Donald. The Preacher's Commentary Series, Vol 14 : Psalms 73-150. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc, 1989, S. 347]
So the psalmist asked God to open his eyes so that he could see the marvelous blessings of God in the Word (17-18). He based his plea on the fact that he hungered for God's Word (vv. 19-20). Because God curses the wicked who disobey Him, he prayed that the Lord would remove those who reproached him. For in contrast to them, he meditated on and delighted in God's Law (vv. 21-24). [Walvoord, John & Zuck, Roy The Bible Knowledge Commentary. Wheaton, IL : Victor Books, 1983, S. 880]
I. OPENNESS [OBEDIENCE] TO THE WORD, 17-20.
II. OPPOSITION TO THE WORD, 21-24.
[Gimel, the third letter in the Hebrew alphabet.]
Verse 17 is a prayer for the empowering of fruitful life. "Deal bountifully with Your servant, that I may live and keep Your Word."
The prayer is for the bestowal of that blessing which brings spiritual life. It is an undeserved blessings of grace which brings with it God's enabling. [For without abundant mercy and grace the servant could not live spiritually much less obediently.] That is why this life of and in the Spirit comes before obeying. Spiritual life comes from God's bountiful dealings. Life is imparted to the soul in the new birth through our belief in Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 1:23), but that life is fed by spiritually abiding in God's Word (John 15:1-11). The Lord's servants cannot serve Him in their own strength, for without Him they can do nothing of eternal value (Jn. 15:5).
The divine bounty which the servant receives not only gives spiritual life but sustains his spiritual life, which, in turn, allows him to obey God or keep His Word. Obedience is the natural out-come of gratitude for God's care and blessings and the enabling of God's care and blessings.
We need to know and keep the Word of God if we are the servants of God (vv. 17, 23, 38, 49, 65, 76, 84, 122, 124, 125, 135, 140, 176). For in His Word our Lord give us direction for the work He wants us to do.
How can fallen beings understand God's Word? The answer, found in verse 18, is only by divine illumination. "Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law."
The Word of God is not revealed to natural man [for it is foolishness to him] (1 Cor. 2:14). Uncover or open denotes divine communication.
Wonderful things are ascribed to God's creation and His redemptive acts. They include God's signs and wonders such as those He displayed against Egypt and His supernatural provision during the wilderness journey. These mighty acts, however, can only be rightly understood as the manifestations of God's kingdom power as He opens our eyes.
GEORGE spent his early years shuffled between foster homes till one day Maria Watkins, a childless washerwoman, found him asleep in her barn. But she didn't just take him in, she took him to church and introduced him to Jesus. When eventually he left her home, he took with him the Bible she'd given him. Maria left her mark on his life - and George Washington Carver left his mark on the world. This father of modem agriculture was a friend to 3 Presidents as well as Henry Ford and Gandhi. He's credited with over 300 inventions! And the remarkable thing is, despite his early disadvantages this orphaned boy never became bitter or made excuses. Instead he went into his lab each morning and prayed Ps 119:18; "Lord, open my eyes that I may see." How could God fail to bless someone with that attitude?
The MOST FREQUENT MIRACLE Jesus performed was opening blinded eyes. In one case He touched a blind man who exclaimed, "I see men as trees, walking" (Mk 8:24). In other, words, "I'm better than I was. I can see something but I can't quite discern what it is." So Jesus touched him again, clearing his perceptions, removing his limitations, setting him free to become the man God called him to be.