Book Notes: Theophan’s Commentary on Psalm 118: verses 38-40

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 38:
Establish for Thy servant Thine oracle unto fear of Thee.

To act in such a way that as soon as a person realizes that in this or that there is a direct will of God, expressed in His Word, he will direct himself at once to carry it out, no matter what the sacrifices.
p.106

According to Blessed Anthimos, there are 2 types of fear:
– that of a slave. He doesn’t violate his master’s will for fear of punishment = fear of the imperfect
– “that of a friend, afraid to lose the love of the one who loves him – this is the fear of those who are perfect” (p.107)

Verse 37 shows what not to seek. Verse 38 shows what we should aim for.

VERSE 39:
Remove my reproach which I have feared,
for Thy judgments are good.

Not only forgive, but cleanse in essence, tear off and cast away, that I may remain of a pure nature, as Thou hast originally created me in Thine image.
p. 110

VERSE 40:
Behold I have longed after Thy commandments:
in Thy righteousness quicken me.

When we recognize we can’t do anything by ourselves, we cry, quicken me, save me!

When people ask what they can do to obtain this or that virtue, one can answer to all: Ask of the Lord and He will give you; there is no other way to attain that which we seek.
p.115

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