Open my eyes, that I may behold
wondrous things in your law.
Psalm 119:18 ESV
In this verse, we find the second of the psalmist’s prayer for direct intervention from the LORD of this stanza. After praying for God to deal bountifully with him, he now prays for God to open his eyes that he may behold wondrous things in His law. As straightforward as this verse is, meditation reveals caverns deep enough to be mined throughout a lifetime without exhausting their resources.
Two implications are made by this verse. First, God’s law contains wondrous things to behold. This, of course, is the implication that undergirds the verse’s prayer. If the psalmist did not expect to find treasures of beauty within God’s Word, he would never have prayed these words. But that is not the case. He has clearly tasted and seen not only the goodness of God Himself but the excellency of His holy Scriptures. Those Spirit-breathed words have dazzled once before his eyes brighter than the finest of jewels.
And he knows that more treasure remains to be discovered. While discussing the Bible, I have had people tell me that they already know what it says because they read it. That response is the antithesis of the psalmist and every child of God (and even numerous non-believers who still find the Scriptures to be astounding). We stand upon the shoulders of some of the greatest intellects over the past two thousand years, who have expended themselves to search diligently the Scriptures. Even still, they have not been exhausted. There is still more to see, more radiant treasures to find, truths that each generation must discover and defend anew. There are truly wondrous things in God’s law.
Yet we also find a second implication of this verse: the psalmist’s eyes are not always open to take hold of the beauties of God’s Word. This is a powerful statement coming from someone whom the Spirit used to write a portion of the canon of Scripture. He evidently did not always read (or recite) the Word with all joy and gladness and confession and repentance and thankfulness. Instead, this very prayer for his eyes to be opened to the wondrous realities of the Bible reveals that he could not always see them.
Unfortunately, we are each in his position. Though you have once been enraptured in the Word as sweeter than any honey, the seasons always change, and the very next day you may find yourself struggling to delight in the Scriptures all over again. This prayer, however, is one we must make in faith. Even when we do not presently see the marvelous things in the Bible, we know that they are there. Let us, therefore, pray each time we open the Scriptures for the Spirit to open our eyes that we may behold the wondrous things that are within each word.