“OPEN THOU MINE EYES”
In order to keep God’s word, must we not pray to understand it? What then is the prayer? Not – give me a plainer Bible – but open mine eyes to know my Bible. Not Â— show me some new revelations beside the law – but make me behold the wonders of the law. David had acquired in the Divine school “more understanding than all his teachers” (verses 99, 100); yet he ever comes to his God under a deep sense of his blindness. Indeed those who have been best and longest taught are always the most ready to “sit at the feet of Jesus” [Luke 10.39), as if they had everything to learn. It is an unspeakable
mercy to know a little and at the same time to feel that it is only a little. We shall then be longing to know more and yet anxious to know nothing, except as we are taught of God. There are indeed in God’s law things so wondrous that “the angels desire to look into them.” (1 Pet. 1.12). The exhibition of the scheme of redemption is in itself a world of wonders. The display of justice exercised in the way of mercy, and of mercy glorified in the exercise of justice, is a wonder that must fill the intelligent universe of God with everlasting astonishment. And yet these “wondrous things” are hid from multitudes who are most deeply interested in the knowledge of them. They are “hid,” not only from the ignorant and unconcerned, but “from the wise and prudent; and revealed” only “to babes” (Matt. 11.25) – to those who practically acknowledge that important truth, that a man “can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven ” (John 3.27). External knowledge is like the child spelling the letters without any apprehension of the meaning. It is like reading a large and clear print with a thick veil before our eyes. Oh! how needful then is the prayer – ‘Unveil’; – “Open thou mine eyes”:
let the veil be taken away from the law, that I may understand it; and from my heart, that I may receive it!
But do not even Christians often find the word of God to be as a sealed book? They go through their accustomed portion without gaining any increasing acquaintance with its light and power, and without any distinct application of its contents to their hearts. And thus it must be, whenever reading has been unaccompanied with prayer for Divine influence. For we not only need to have our “eyes opened to behold” fresh wonders but also to give a more spiritual and transforming (2 Cor. 3.18) perception of those wonders which we have already beheld.
But are we conscious of our blindness? Then let us hear the counsel of our Lord that we “anoint our eyes with eye-salve, that we may see.” (Rev. 3.18). The recollection of the promises of Divine teaching is fraught with encouragement. The Spirit is freely and abundantly promised in this very character as “the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God” (Eph. 1.17). If, therefore, we desire a clearer insight into these “wondrous things” of revelation – if we would behold the glorious beauty of our Immanuel – if we would comprehend something more of the immeasurable extent of that love with which “God so loved the world, as to give his only-begotten Son” (John 3.16), and of that equally incomprehensible love, which moved that Son so cheerfully to undertake our cause (Heb. 10.5-7), we must make daily, hourly rise of this important petition – “Open thou mine eyes.”