New Living Translation
Open my eyes to see
the wonderful truths in your instructions.
What does Psalm 119:18 mean?
John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible
Open thou mine eyes
The eyes of my heart or understanding, as Kimchi; or, “reveal mine eyes” F20; take off the veil from them: there is a veil of darkness and ignorance on the hearts of all men, with respect to divine and spiritual things; their understandings are darkened, yea, darkness itself. This veil must be removed; the scales must drop from their eyes; their eyes must be opened and enlightened, before they can discern spiritual things contained in the word of God; and even good men need to have the eyes of their understandings more and more enlightened into these things, as the psalmist here petitions, and the apostle prays for his Ephesians, ( Ephesians 1:17 Ephesians 1:18 ) ;
that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law;
the law strictly taken, which had great and excellent things in it; and was wonderful for the compendiousness of it; for the justice, holiness, and equity of its precepts; especially for its spirituality, and above all for Christ, being the end of it; the two last more particularly could only be discerned by a spiritual man: or rather the five books of Moses, the almost only Scriptures extant in David’s time, in which there were many wonderful things concerning Christ; some delivered by way of promise and prophecy of him, under the characters of the seed of the woman, the seed of Abraham, the Shiloh, and the great Prophet; and many others in dark figures, types, and shadows, which required a spiritual sight to look into; of which the rock and manna, the brasen serpent, passover, &c. are instances: but rather, as the word “law” signifies “doctrine”, the doctrine of the Gospel may be meant; which contains mysteries in it, respecting the trinity of Persons in the Godhead, the person of Christ, his incarnation, sufferings and death; the blessings of grace through him; the doctrines of peace, pardon, righteousness, eternal life, and the resurrection of the dead; with many others.
This lengthy but beautifully written Psalm has its entire focus on the Word of God, which contain the instructions of the heavenly Father. How we need the Word of God, for it is our daily food and it is refreshment for our souls. How we should treasure the Word of God, for it is our guide and teacher – our strength and our defence. How we should read, mark, learn and inwardly digest the Word of God, for it is life and health – it is peace and light., it is joy and hope. And as the Psalmist trawls the depth of its treasures, his whispered prayer is – open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in Your instructions.
We are not only servants and students of the Word, but we are sons and daughters of its Author, and so that should search the scripture daily to discover the truths, in which the Lord desires to teach and train us, as well as the areas in which He seeks to guard and correct us. As His children we should treasure His Word in our heart that we might not sin against Him, and as we reach for our Bible, our prayer should mirror that of the Psalmist – open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Your law.
We need to ensure that our eyes are wide open to all that is in the Word as we saturate ourselves in His wonderful ways and reflect on the beauty of His person. We should crave for the milk of the Word so that we may grow in grace and in a knowledge of the Lord Jesus, and we should meditate upon the meat of the Word so that we may walk in spirit and truth – and live in submission to the guiding of the Spirit. Day by day our prayer should be – open my eyes so that I may contemplate the wonderful things from Your instruction.
When our eyes are open and earnestly looking to Jesus they are not searching out the things of this world. When our heart is gasping for the Lord it is not lusting after the things of the flesh. But when our eyes are closed in disinterest or discouragement our own imagination can be funnelled in to a wrong direction. Let us look to the Lord in excitement and open our eyes in prayerful expectation – that we will see the wonderful things that are written in Scripture and contemplate on the glories that are contained in the Word of God.