Book Notes: Theophan’s Commentary on Psalm 118: verse 119

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

by Saint John of Kronstadt Press, 2014

VERSE 119:
I have reckoned as transgressors all the sinners of the earth,
therefore have I loved Thy testimonies.

Looking at sinners (cf. v. 118) and their miserable inner condition has warmed up his zeal to carry out God’s commandments. 

The sinner doesn’t see his inner bad condition, because “that person is never within himself”.
This is such an appropriate explanation for our modern society, where most people live superficially and don’t take time to go inward. Also shown in Eph. 4:17-19, quoted here page 261.

The author then shows how through Scripture the ungodly are described: joyless, heavy heart, anxious, feverish undertakings (which we can translate with a more modern word as busy-ness), exhaustion as a result. “Blindness, untiring preoccupation, and inward heaviness”.

The sinner has no time; he is always busy.
This drains his strength,
and meanwhile does not let him come to his senses.

I guess there’s nothing new under the sun, if Theophan was then able to describe so well our secular 2022 society as I know it.
But he adds that the sinner does all of this, even though he knows there’s a God and a judgment. It got even worse when people got to thinking that there’s actually no God.

Seeing the state of sinners, who look then more like dark shadows, the psalmist has decided to love God’s testimonies.

I think this is a powerful passage, like an alert to remind us to pause, to take time to slow down,  to take time for silent encounters with the Lord.

Any reflection on these quotes?

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your input or questions. I'll answer asap and visit your site if you have one

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s