Friday, April 9, 2010

A Stranger With Open Eyes-Psalm 119 (part 4)

"Deal bountifully with Thy servant,
that I may live and keep Thy word.
Open my eyes, that I may behold
wonderful things from Thy law.
I am a stranger in the earth;
do not hide Thy commandments from me.
My soul is crushed with longing
after Thy ordinances at all times."
(Psalm 119:17-20)

"Deal bountifully with your servant." Here is another prayer of David. It is a request for God to deal liberally and largely with him. And the specific focus of this prayer is that God would overflow the banks of his life with an ability to walk in the Word. "Deal bountifully with Thy servant that I may live and keep Thy word."

If an inventory were taken of our requests would bountiful blessing that leads to devoted duty be in the top ten? Would it even make it to the top hundred?

As David seeks God's abundant favor regarding his keeping of the statutes of the Lord it is evident that he recognizes that it is God who must grant him all ability. Clearly he understands his condition, particularly if he is left to himself. He understands "there is none who understands" (Ps 14). He humbly accepts with Paul that "the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so" (Rom 8:7) and that "a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolish to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised" (1 Cor 2:14).

David is aware of his utter inability and for that reason he begs of God to do that which only God can do - open the eyes of a spiritually blind man! "Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Thy law."

Henry writes: "We are blind to the things of God by nature, til His grace causes the scales to fall from our eyes. And the more God opens our eyes the more wonders we see in the Word of God."

The great shepherd king of old Israel gives us a great model of prayer for our every approaching of the Word of God: Open my eyes Lord, I cannot understand your Word apart from the illumining power of Your Spirit. Grant me that I may take in, absorb, and be changed by the wonderful things of Your law!!

David recognizes his need for God to bountifully deal with him in order for him to walk in His holy ways. He understands that he cannot do it himself but must have God work in him. He also sees the reason that he needs the lights turned on. David is a stranger in the earth. A blind man who is at home may be able to get around just fine in the walls of his own abode. He knows where the coffee table is. He can find his way to the couch. In his home he is safe. In my home he might just fall down a flight of stairs and severly bonk his head!

David is a stranger in this land and Christians, so are we. We need God to open our eyes so that we don't stumble in this fallen foreign field that is our current home. We need the map open to us, not hidden from us. "I am a stranger in the earth; do not hide Thy commandments from me."

Turning to Mr. Henry once again:

"David confesses himself a stranger in the earth. Heaven is our home and the world is but our inn. David was a man that knew much of the world and was well known in it. Yet he calls himself a stranger. As a stranger he needs a guide, a guard, a companion, a comforter. Let us have God's commandments always in view, for they will be all this to us. They will be all that a poor stranger can desire."

Oh that God would deal bountifully with blind strangers such as ourselves. And oh that we would long much more that He would so do! David longed. He literally ached to know God's truth more and more. "My soul is crushed with longing after Thine ordinances at all times." Do we?

Praying to ache a bit more,

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