Jonathan Edwards on Scripture and Psalm 119:18

Psalm 119:18 says “Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Your law” (NASB).

This is a verse that a former mentor and discipler of mine would pray every time we sat down to read the Bible together and it’s stuck with me. I still pray it often, whether I’m reading just for myself or reading with someone else. Because it’s a verse that I like and use often, I was happy when I came across Jonathan Edwards’s thoughts on the verse in his sermon “A Divine and Supernatural Light.”

Commenting on the verse, Edwards says:

edwards

What could the Psalmist mean, when he begged of God to open his eyes? was he ever blind? might he not have resort to the law and see every word and sentence in it when he pleased? And what could he mean by those “wondrous things”? was it the wonderful stories of the creation, and deluge, and Israel’s passing through the Red Sea, and the like? were not his eyes open to read these strange things when he would?

Edwards then answers his own questions, supporting his overall argument that while anyone can open the Bible and read the words printed on the page, it is only those whose vision the Spirit illuminates that hear the voice of God and see the person of Christ in them.

Doubtless by “wondrous things” in God’s law, he had respect to those distinguishing perfections, and glory, that there was in the commands and doctrines of the Word, and those works and counsels of God that were there revealed. So the Scripture speaks of a knowledge of God’s dispensation, and covenant of mercy, and way of grace towards his people, as peculiar to the saints, and given only by God, Ps. 25:4, “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant.” (emphasis added)

Let us be encouraged to continually entreat the Lord to open our eyes as we read the Word.

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