Seeing Wondrous Things
Psalm 119:18, 24 Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law….
Make me understand the way of Your precepts; so shall I meditate on Your wonderful works.
Ephesians 3:16-19 …that [God] would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
God is many things to us, and wants to be even more. God wants to bring us salvation, sanctification, and deliverance, and therefore wants to be seen as savior, sanctifier, and deliverer (as well as Lord, brother, friend, etc.) But God also wants to dazzle us.
One of the apparent ironies of Psalm 119—the longest in the Psalter—is that in the middle of the psalm that extolls the glories of God’s laws stand some verses that break out of the focus on respecting and obeying His commandments. Verse 18 speaks of the possibility of seeing “wondrous things” from God’s law. Not logical things, not even understandable things, but wondrous things.
And apparently those wondrous things are already there, waiting to be discovered. The prayer of the writer is only to have God open his eyes so that he can see them. Then a few verses later, the writer asks to understand how God’s precepts work, so that he can meditate on God’s wonderful works. Yes, the writer wants to obey the Lord, to give Him glory, and to know more of God’s statutes and precepts. But he also wants to be lost in things about our God that astonish and amaze, things that transcend mere understanding.
The New Testament takes these sentiments into hyperdrive. Paul is praying that the Ephesians—and by extension, all believers—might be able to comprehend the incomprehensible—the full extent of God’s love in Christ, and all that this love has accomplished. To what end? He didn’t pray that they would increase understanding of the head, or even of the heart. The “end goal” was that they might be filled with all the fullness of God.
No amount of meditation could accomplish this, and no amount of study could bring us there, either. Sometimes we are encouraged to focus on something so that things become more precise, focused, and clear. Here the scriptures point us to the ineffable and encourage us to find treasures where we haven’t discovered them before and to be stretched to the breaking point and beyond by His love.
Can you still be dazzled? Will you allow yourself? Can you receive these scriptures as your own?
Prayer: Father, I want You to have complete freedom in me. I don’t want to be limited in my relationship to You by my understanding or even by what my heart can contain. You are astounding. Please astound me by Your word and Your presence.