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Bible Passage Psalm 119

Holy Living 9 : Open My Eyes

  • Tony Raker
Date preached January 9, 2022

Holy Living 9: Open My Eyes

Psalm 119 is an instruction how, in the midst of cultural upheaval, to stand firm as does God and His Word in the Heavens.

Psalm 119:18: “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.”

  • Grammatical Usage: “Open” or in the Hebrew, “galah” meaning, “to uncover, remove.”
  • Literal Interpretation: Remove the natural veil from my eyes, that I may behold wonderous things out of your law.
  • Contextual/Comparison: God keeps His Word: God continually uses His Word. If we consider our text carefully, we see that this one petition embodies five basic and important truths:
  1. The Bible is a unique Book. In this section of the Psalm 119 it is described as “your word” ( 17); “your law” (v. 18); “your commands” (v. 19); “your statutes” (vv. 22; 24), and the emphasis in each case is on the word “your”. The Bible is unique because it is God’s Book; He is the Author. The psalmist’s Bible was much smaller than ours, but now we have in the completed canon of scripture 66 books, all of which are inspired (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21)
  2. The Bible contains wonderful things. The psalmist says this in his prayer, and when we think of the contents of the Bible – its histories, types, poetry, doctrines and prophecies – we at once realize how wonderful the Book is. It tells us about God, man, sin, death, Heaven, Hell and eternity, and above all about the wonderful salvation which Christ offers (2 Timothy 3:15)
  3. Before we can see these wonderful things, our eyes must be opened. It was for this that the psalmist prayed. We are like the two on the Emmaus road (Luke 24:13-35), and as we pray the prayer of Psalm 119:18 the Lord Himself draws near. He reveals Himself to us through His Word and our eyes are opened, our heart is warmed, and our lips are filled with testimony
  4. Only God can open our eyes to see wonderful things in His Word. We need spiritual illumination. This is what was given to Peter (Matthew 16:13-18), and compare Matthew 11:25
  5. To gain this needed illumination we must pray the prayer of the psalmist – not once, but always when we come to the Word of God. See 1 Corinthians 2:9-14 and compare Psalm 16:11. For an illustration of opened eyes in answer to prayer, see 2 Kings 6:17; 20

How and for what should we pray? There are three specific ways in which we should pray every time we read God’s Word:

  1. “Open my eyes that I may…” see myself and the sinfulness of sin.

We should begin here when we pray, for we were born in sin (Ps. 51:5); we have committed sin (Is. 53:6); and we only ever see ourselves and our sin as we look into God’s Word and He opens our eyes. In these days we are apt to think that because of educational advantages some people have had, and because of our modern civilization, our hearts are not so bad, but God’s Word tells us that this is not so. Turn to the following references and ask God to open your eyes to see the sinfulness of the natural heart, your heart, apart from His grace – Genesis 6:5; Isaiah 1:5-6; Isaiah 64:6-7; Jeremiah 17:9; Matthew 15:19; Ephesians 2:1-3. Now read about Lot’s backsliding (Genesis 19:1-38); Achan’s deceitfulness (Joshua 7:19-23); David’s impurity (2 Samuel 11:1-27); Peter’s denial (Luke 22:54-62); and Diotrephes’ pride (3 John 9). Are we any better by nature? When God shows us ourselves, the revelation He gives is very humbling. It was so for Job (Job 40:4); for Isaiah (Isaiah 6:5); for David (Psalm 22:6); for Peter (Luke 5:8); for the Prodigal (Luke 15:21); and for Paul (Romans 7:14).

  1. “Open my eyes that I may…” see the love of God and His infinite mercy and grace in the Lord Jesus Christ. We know the story of the grace of God as declared in John 3:16. How great, far-reaching, and all-embracing is the love of God! Read again Luke 15:11-24 and revel in verses 20-24. The great proof of God’s love is seen at Calvary, and when my eyes are opened to see the Lord Jesus dying there for me I cry out: ”…the Son of God…loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20), and humbly say, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). Read Phil. 2:5-11, and then say to yourself – “And all this was for me- a sinner!”
  2. “Open my eyes that I may…” see the kind of Christian God wants me to be. Psalm 1:1-3 shows us the kind of Christian God wants you to be; as well as in Romans 6:12-14; 8:37-39; Ephesians 4:31-32 and 2 Timothy 4:18. God desires every one of His children to be victorious in Christian living and fruitful in Christian service, and He has made every provision for us to live for Him and serve Him in this way. The Lord Jesus died and has risen again to give us His own victorious life, and this life is imparted to us in the Person of the Holy Spirit.

These, then, are the three special prayers that we should always pray when we read our Bibles. Many other things will be revealed to us, such as the glory and the majesty of God, the mystery of His providence, the extent of His redeeming work, the activity of the Holy Spirit, the nature and function of the Church, God’s purposes for the Jew and the Church in the world – so let us pray this prayer and cultivate the habit of doing so, remembering that the Holy Spirit is with us and in us, and that He is waiting to answer our prayer and to give the illumination we need.

  • Conclusion: Given prayer is essential to Bible study: will you commit to a prayerful approach?