Book Notes: Theophan’s Commentary on Psalm 118: verse 2

Psalm 118Psalm 118:
A Commentary
by Saint Theophan the Recluse

(1815-1894)
by Saint John of Kronstadt Press, 2014
Goodreads
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VERSE 2:
Blessed are they that search out His testimonies;
with their whole heart  they seek after Him.

Here the Law is called  testimonies, because the Law testifies concerning God’s will, about what God wants from us.

And God Himself testifies that His Word is Truth.

We can search out His testimonies 

  • intellectually: this leads to the path of God’s will
  • by deed: when we follow the path of God’s will

But there’s also the danger of studying the Word of Go without following it, because of stubborn resistance or procrastination.

The greater part of its truths can be understood only after starting on the path of following it.
page 13

That is, you need to experiment it in order to understand it.

One should not only enter upon the path of God’s commandments, but follow them to the end.
Page 14

Blessedness begins the very moment we decide to follow the Word of God. At least, blessedness in hope. And then you are blessed by what you experience.

Verse 1 was about searching out by actions. This belongs to the active life.

But there is a higher searching, reflected here in verse 2, where the divine vision becomes experience and unswerving fulfillment of God’s commandments.
Fulfill the commandments –> purification of heart
seek–> find–> remain in Him:

Seek in order to find; and having found Him, to remain with Him and in Him, possessing Him and being possessed by Him.
page 16

Looks like my notes for each verse are enough to nourish you for the day, so I’ll probably stick to one verse per post, as a rule of thumb.

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