Book Notes: Theophan’s Commentary on Psalm 118: verse 89

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

by Saint John of Kronstadt Press, 2014

Introduction to the 12th octave:

Lamed = to teach. Here in the sense of teaching oneself and learning thoroughly.
This octave is about “the study of God’s law in order to understand God’s will and act accordingly”.
Also about the conviction instilled by this study and the blessings received from it.

“Having studied the law, I have become convinced that, if a person wants to live truly, he can achieve this in no other way than by confirming to God’s law, which expresses His will for us.”

Everything is subject to God’s will. If we go against it, we will be blocked (v.89-91).
I have decided to do God’s will, and “in all humiliating circumstances”, I did not perish (v.92), I came to life (v.93), I feel myself saved (v.94).
I have been taught “how to discern the enemies’ snares and avoid them (v.95).
Thus I have entered a space of freedom that has no limits (v.96).

For ever, O Lord,
Thy word abideth in heaven.

= “the word of the living God is immutably fulfilled in the spiritual and material heavens”.
And on earth (v.90 and v.91)

Thy word = “the word uttered by God when He created the world”.
Everything subsists, immutably (“For ever“).

“What abides in heaven should abide in you” (St Ambrose)
“Follow the example of heaven for your life” (p.213).

This is a nice thought to have next time you’ll be observing the stars!

In the visible heaven (sun, moon, stars), and in the invisible (angels and saints), here on earth.

Any reflection on these quotes?


  1. Beautiful post.
    “if a person wants to live truly, he can achieve this in no other way than by confirming to God’s law”
    Thank you.


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