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Why You Should Read Psalm 119:18 Before Studying the Bible

Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.

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The Book of Psalms is the longest book in the Bible with 150 chapters. Psalm 119 is the longest chapter with 176 verses. The theme of the entire chapter is God's word. Of the 176 verses, all of them except three contain "word" or a "synonym for word."

There are 10 of those words in all.

  1. word
  2. decree
  3. statute
  4. ordinance
  5. command
  6. testimonies
  7. way
  8. ways
  9. precepts
  10. law

Four Important Points in Psalm 119:18

There are four important points in that one short verse. It is really a prayer. So, when you read it, you are making one request and the reason for the request. Since the prayer is so short, we can call it a "sentence prayer."

"Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wonderful things out of thy law." (Psalm 119:18)

Don't expect to get all God wants you to get out His word unless you see the wonderful things in it. The prayer is for God's supernatural help. When you pray that prayer you are requesting God's illumination that you will not see without God opening your eyes.

1. "Open My Eyes"

We cannot see what is in God's word without opening our eyes. Therefore, the psalmist comes right out and says, "Open my eyes." That is a short instruction that tells us exactly what to do. It is a simple directive. The psalmist gives us an imperative. Notice the instruction specifically says, "Open my eyes." That's important because the instruction is personal for the one who prays that short sentence prayer. Notice the personal pronoun "my."

No one can act on the word of God without knowing what it is. This short prayer is essential for seeing what is in God's word. We need help in understanding what is in God's word and what is in His heart. Therefore, this prayer is requesting God’s supernatural help.

2. "That I May Behold"

The psalmist continues with the word "that I may behold." Notice the personal pronoun "I." It is no doubt that Psalm 119:18 is personal on more than one account. By the way, the word "behold" simply means "to see" or "to observe."

Quickly reading a verse and moving on to the next verse isn't what Psalm 119:18 tells us to do. Our spiritual eyes need to be open in order for us to see what we are reading.

3. "Wonderful Things"

The psalmist now focuses on the description of something in keeping with the theme of Psalm 119:18. He calls them "wonderful things." Anything that is wonderful causes us to wonder about what we see.

There are wonderful things in God's word no matter what we study. That's why it is important to pray that prayer before reading anything in the Bible whether it is from the Old or New Testament.

If God does not open our eyes, we cannot see the wonder of His word. We are not able to see spiritual things in the natural. When we read the Bible without the help of God, we are just reading words. When we read the Bible with God's help, we do more than merely read the words. We understand the words, we get revelations from the words, and we are motivated to live by the word.

Those wonderful things in the word of God will transform us only when we see them with spiritual eyes, understand them, and hide them in our hearts so we can live a righteous life.

4. "From Your Law"

The last part of Psalm 119:18 tells us exactly where to look: "from your law." Since it is a prayer to God, "your" refers to what belongs to God. It is God's law, word, statutes, precepts, ordinance, commands, and all the other synonyms listed above. You should pray to behold the wonderful things of God and not the opinion of man or your own unwise decisions.

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No one can see wonderful things out of God's law without His supernatural help. Let that be your prayer every time you read or study the Bible. Since the prayer is so short with only 12 words, it takes only a few seconds to pray it.

When we pray Psalm 119:18, we are praying for supernatural illumination. We are helpless to see wonderful things out of God's word without His help. Therefore, before you jump right in and read anything from the Bible, make sure you pray:

"Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law." (Psalm 119:18)

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