Book Notes: Theophan’s Commentary on Psalm 118: verse 73

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

by Saint John of Kronstadt Press, 2014

Introduction to the 10th octave:

Yod = hand, the symbol of God’s omnipotence.
“With His hand He has created, maintains, provides for everything”.

v.73-74: creation by God; endowment of understanding to the fulfillment for His purpose.
Prayer that the Lord might also improve outer conditions unto the glory of a God-pleasing life.
v.75: Thou has deservedly humbled me, but:
Let Thy mercy be upon me,
– according to Thy Word (v.76)
– that I may live (v.77)
– that the proud may be put to shame (v.78)
– that those who fear Thee might turn to me (v.79)
– that my heart may be blameless in Thy statutes (v.80).

Thy hands have made me and fashioned me;
give me understanding and I will learn Thy commandments.

My paraphrase of Theophan’s comment:
God, you created me, so now help me be a better person and reach blessedness.

And since for this, it is indispensable to fulfill Thy will,
which is expressed in the commandments,

give me understanding and teach me how to do it.

Man has been created in God’s image and likeness
for the purpose of a God-like life,
and to come into a living relationship to God through likeness to God.
The Lord is good; be good.

The Lord is long-suffering; be patient.
The Lord is righteous; practice righteousness.
The Lord is humble; love truth.

The Lord is meek and lowly in heart; be like this.
The Lord is merciful; be forgiving.
In short — however the Lord has deigned to present Himself,
imitate Him.

If you collect all of God’s characteristics that we are to imitate, you see all the commandments.

To live in the likeness of God means to live according to God’s commandments.

What is earthly in you is not so great; but what is great is that it bears in itself God’s image. 
Ineffably great is this advantage.
Be careful, watch, and do not lose this great gift.
The Prophet teaches you how to do this, by praying, and teaching you to pray:
Give me understanding and I will learn Thy commandments.

Any reflection on these quotes?

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