Summary: The term ‘law’ is used in various senses in the Bible. Sometimes it means that which was written on the two tables of stone; sometimes the ceremonial law given to Israel by God through Moses; sometimes the five books of Moses in distinction from the books
THE EYES OPENED TO THE LAW OF GOD
“Open Thou mine eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law.”
In this discourse I shall show —
I. IN WHAT SENSE THE TERM LAW IS USED IN THE TEXT.
II. THE MEANING OF THE REQUEST — “OPEN THOU MINE EYES.”
III. WHAT IS IMPLIED IN MAKING THE REQUEST.
IV. THE CONSEQUENCES OF RECEIVING AN ANSWER TO THE REQUEST.
V. THE CONDITION OF AN ANSWER TO THE REQUEST.
I. WHAT SENSE THE TERM LAW IS USED IN THE TEXT
The term ‘law’ is used in various senses in the Bible. Sometimes it means that which was written on the two tables of stone; sometimes the ceremonial law given to Israel by God through Moses; sometimes the five books of Moses in distinction from the books of the prophets and the Psalms, etc.; and sometimes it means the whole revealed will of God. This last is its widest sense, and this I suppose to be the meaning in the text; to wit: the whole Old Testament Scriptures — that is, the whole revealed will of God. The prayer of the Psalmist is as if he had said — Open Thou mine eyes to behold wondrous things in the Bible.
II. THE MEANING OF THE REQUEST — “OPEN THOU MINE EYES.”
1. It does not mean create new eyes for me. Nor,
2. Does the Psalmist pray for any physical operation as removing a cataract, or taking away a film from the surface of the eye; for it is not the natural eye with which we see spiritual things. But,
3. The Psalmist does intend to pray for spiritual light. A man may have good eyes, bodily and mental, and yet he will perceive nothing if light be wanting. I suppose the Psalmist to pray for spiritual light, the medium of spiritual vision, by which, supplied by the in-dwelling Spirit, he may apprehend the wondrous things really revealed in the Bible. Many will inquire — What is this spiritual light? I answer, that I cannot tell what it is, any more than I can tell what natural light is. Ask me what natural light is, and I cannot tell. I can tell what philosophers speculate about it, and that is all. I know this, that in its absence I cannot see, and that in its presence I can see. So there is spiritual light. What it is I know not, but that there is such a thing I do know, (and what Christian does not know it?) Every man enlightened by the Spirit of God knows the fact full well.
He may be ignorant of its nature of the manner of its operations, as we doubtless are of both natural and spiritual light, but of the fact of the existence of both we may be perfectly sure; and of the existence of spiritual light, he upon whose eyes it has shone, is as certain as any man
can be of the existence of the sun in the heavens. He knows that in its presence he can discern spiritual objects, and that in its absence they are hid from his eyes. Now I say, that the Psalmist in the text, expresses his desire to have spiritual light — his desire for the Spirit to shed his light
upon the Bible, without which, he could not see and apprehend the truth of the Bible, and by which, they might be made to stand forth as actual realities to his soul. I pass to show
III. WHAT IS IMPLIED IN THE REQUEST
1. It is implied that we possess the faculties requisite for the perception of spiritual objects. The Psalmist prays for no change or new creation, and there needs no change in the nature or organization of our faculties.
2. That our spiritual eyes are useless without light — that they are of no avail till God opens them, or till He supplies the light by which alone we can see — that we shall not and cannot behold the wondrous things in God’s law, only as the medium of vision is supplied.
3. That the Psalmist knew very well that there were wonderful things concealed from his spiritual eye in the absence of spiritual light. He knew some of the things contained in the Scriptures doubtless. His eyes had been opened perhaps, and more than once. Indeed, no spiritual man can
read the 119 Psalm with any good degree of attention, and not feel that he who wrote it had drank, and that deeply, into the spirit of God’s holy law. Every verse almost, any every verse but two, expresses in some way his love for God’s law, the importance of God’s law, or the glory of God’s law. And the knowledge he already had gained had ravished his heart and made him cry out more earnestly to have his eyes fully opened, that he might be able to see clearly the glories of the Scriptures. The Psalmist had without doubt been enabled to get in some degree, behind the veil of types and shadows of the Old Testament, he had taken a peep beneath the drapery, and had seen Christ revealed and the wonderful things of salvation; he had looked through and beyond the outward types and shadows and the sight had so enraptured his soul, that he prayed with agonizing earnestness and importunity — “Open mine eyes. O Lord open Thou mine eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law.” The wonders are in the Bible if we could only see them. We might be walking in the midst of the splendors of nature, and see nothing if there were not light. What are the glories of vision to a blind man? He may encircle the globe, go over its mountains and through its valleys, cross its oceans and its continents, pass among all it beauties and its luxuriance, and yet see nothing. Without eyes they are nothing; or with eyes if there be no light, all is midnight darkness. It is so as to spiritual things. Read the Bible, pass