Book Notes: Theophan’s Commentary on Psalm 118: verses 83-85

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

by Saint John of Kronstadt Press, 2014

For I am become like a wine-skin in the frost;
yet Thy statutes have I not forgotten.

v.81: on the strong desire for help
v.82: on the grief for not receiving it quickly.

The following verses are on why it would be right for the Lord to hasten the fulfillment of His promises.

The first reason: “I am become like a wine-skin in the frost“.
In the cold, a wine-skin comes to be good for nothing.
I have come to be good for nothing, I have no strength, because of sorrows, oppression.
And because I am faithful to Thy statutes. (Zigabenos).
cf. Lazarus.

Other fathers (Sts Athanasios and Ambrose e.g.) see in the image of the wine-skin a reference to self-mortification.

How many are the days of Thy servant?
When wilt Thou execute judgment for me on them that persecute me?

This is the 2nd reason, which has a moral aspect: “Art Thou going to let Thy righteousness go on being insulted without punishment?”
cf. Revelation 6:10

According to St Ambrose, the prophet prays thus so that he might be granted the strength to overcome the Enemy.

Transgressors have told me fables,
but they are not like Thy law, O Lord.

3rd reason: “free me from the bondage of the enemies of truth”.
Who tell me fables and try to have me follow them.

Transgressors = actual sinners. Or passions; and unclean spirits.
They present their propositions as God’s law, but those educated in discerning good and evil expose this delusion and turn away from it.

Any reflection on these quotes?

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