Book Notes: Theophan’s Commentary on Psalm 118: verses 157-160

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

by Saint John of Kronstadt Press, 2014

VERSE 157:
Many are they that persecute me and afflict me;
from Thy testimonies have I not declined.

Hope of salvation (cf. v. 156) gives strength for enduring and overcoming all inner and outer adversities.
And through these adversities, if we do not turn away from God’s testimonies:
“Blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 5:10).
Theophan insists on the use of the present tense.
It bears fruit of patience.

VERSE 158:
I beheld men acting foolishly and I pined away,
because they kept not Thy sayings.

True love of God means love of our brethren. He is afflicted to see some living against their conscience.
Need to pray for them. And also our responsibility in correcting and instructing.

VERSE 159:
Behold, how I have loved Thy commandments;
O Lord, in Thy mercy, quicken me.

He insists that he is not just an outward lover of the law, but one from the heart as well.
He loves the commandments for the sake of the love of those virtues which they inspire.
And little by little, these virtues encompass the heart. “This is spiritual paradise.” (p. 320)
“This is how the kingdom of God can be within us.
Then God is present, not as a temporary guest, but as a permanent dweller.” (p. 320)

quicken me  = do not depart from me.

As long as the Lord does not depart,
then His life-giving quality will flow by itself…
Do not deprive me, O Lord, of the mercy of Thy presence in me,
but continually quicken me according to Thy mercy.
p. 320

VERSE 160:
The beginning of Thy words is truth,
and all the judgments of Thy righteousness endure for ever.

The conviction that all of God’s words are immutably true
serves as a basis for an unwavering life according to these words. (p. 320)
The enemy uses every effort to dispel our conviction,
for instance through our forgetfulness and distraction.


Any reflection on these quotes?

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