Book Notes: Theophan’s Commentary on Psalm 118: verses 125-126

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

by Saint John of Kronstadt Press, 2014

VERSE 125:
I am Thy servant: give me understanding,
and I shall know Thy testimonies.

I am Thy servant:
he expresses his ever-present readiness to work faithfully for the Lord,
though knowledge is not yet available: give me understanding.

I want nothing more than to walk in Thy will…
Only direct me what to do.
page 271

give me understanding:
in the previous verse, he asked to be taught — teach me Thy statutes.
Here, he indicates how he would like to be taught.
He wants the outline of God’s will to be written in his mind:
and I shall know

VERSE 126:
It is time for the Lord to  act;
for they have dispersed Thy law.

He not only wants to be zealous in following God’s will, but he wants others as well to do it.
If they don’t, he grieves, he even feels ashamed for people (like Isaiah in 6:5, “I dwell in the midst of a people having unclean lips”), but does not remain inactive: by his example and words of persuasion. And prayers, to counteract evil.

It is time:
he looks into God’s Providence, at the times when God cut off evil in older events (deluge, etc).

This is a prayer uttered by David in a prophetic spirit, about the necessary coming of the Savior in the Incarnation.
Like when you call for a doctor when illness endangers the life of a patient.

It is neat that Theophan uses this image here, referring to the Orthodox view of the Church as a hospital, and sins as diseases – not the legalistic view of sins in Western theology.

He also recommends to use “It is time for the Lord to  act” before we do anything, or pray.
The formula is used before the beginning of the Divine Liturgy, as he reminds us.

Any reflection on these quotes?

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