I sat on the sidewalk one autumn afternoon drawing chalk rainbows with my 18 month old as the sun kissed our faces. The mailperson stopped to give me a package, and I excitedly ripped it open to find a brand new pair of trendy prescription eyeglasses.
One week earlier, I received a very overdue eye exam. I knew I needed to get my vision checked when, one day, I realized that I couldn’t see a new speed limit sign until it was nearly parallel with my car. For years, I had simply gone through the motions on familiar roads and had no indication that my vision was blurry; I had been on visual autopilot 24/7. Life happened quickly for this college student turned wife turned mom, and, all of a sudden, I found myself sitting in the eye exam room, nearly three years after that incident, being told I wasn’t legal to drive without glasses. “Please, do not get in your car at night without these. Actually, don’t drive anywhere without them. Your vision is terrible, and you will have a wreck or end up in trouble, eventually.”
I anxiously fumbled with the case containing my new lenses. When I put them on, my soul, not just my lungs, gasped at what was before me. Everything seemed to move in slow motion. I could make out each leaf falling from the gorgeous crimson tree standing proudly several houses away. I could read the faded street signs at the corner of our neighbors’ yard. I could see individual blades of grass a few feet from my face. And ladies…oh ladies…I watched my daughter running down the sidewalk. She stopped, turned back, and her precious smile, for the very first time, was not out of focus.
Do you know that you have spiritual eyes? David begs God in Psalm 119:18 “Open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things from Your law!” He doesn’t mean his physical eyes, but the eyes of his heart. Isaiah 6:9-10 says they can be open or closed. When was the last time you had your spiritual eyes checked? Are you having trouble seeing more than a few steps ahead? God’s Word is so crucial to having clear, illuminated spiritual vision. In Psalm 119:130, David writes, “The unfolding of Your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.” In this one verse, we see several reasons why we should study God’s Word to sharpen our spiritual vision and to guide us on this often blurred path called life.
The Unfolding of God’s Words Gives Light to the Eyes
Throughout the Bible, God’s Word is described as a lamp or a light (Psalm 19:8, 119:105). This metaphor is meant to explain how, as we read the Bible, the words of God give direction, clarity, and understanding to our lives. The “unfolding of [God’s] words” is specifically what David says gives light to our spiritual eyes. This term “unfold” means either to explain plainly then meditate on or to teach and then comprehend. As we study God’s Word or hear it taught and begin to understand what it means, the truth of Scripture opens our spiritual eyes to guide us in how we should live.
The Unfolding of God’s Words Gives Understanding to the Simple
The ESV Study Bible defines “the simple” person mentioned throughout Scripture as “the person who is not firmly committed, either to wisdom or to folly; he [or she] is easily misled.” David writes, however, that the unfolding of God’s words imparts understanding to the simple. For those of us who often find ourselves walking the line between folly and wisdom, the line of half-hearted commitment to God’s plans for our lives, this gives us hope. Reading God’s Word carefully and pondering it can impart to us the perspective and clarity that we need to be pushed off that line into wisdom and full commitment to the Lord.
The Ultimate Unfolding
When unfolded, God’s written Word helps us understand spiritual truths and gives us perspective, and the ultimate unfolding of God’s Word in the form of Jesus Christ does both of these as well. John 1:1, 4-5 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…In Him was life, and that life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” If God’s written Word can give light to our darkness and direction to our wandering, how much more can the Word that was in the beginning, that became human, that showed us God’s words in flesh and bones, strengthen our commitment to God? Jesus is the Word. Jesus was the Word before the words were written. He is the very expression of God in human flesh, and He does not just give light, He is the Light. He is the fulfillment of every prophecy, the keeper of every law, the answer to every promise in God’s Word. Oh, friends, if we trust in Jesus and follow Him – through the written words about Him, the words He said, the things He did, the things He does, through prayer, through worship, through fellowship – we will “see” clearly because He is the Word and He is the Light in its ultimate unfolding. And we have this hope for the present blurriness – that one day our spiritual vision will never become out of focus again, because we will clearly behold the ultimate unfolding of the words of God in all His glory on that day.
Sisters, when was the last time you had your eyes adjusted through the lens of Scripture? I wonder how many of us have been on autopilot and our spiritual vision is blurry. If you feel like you are walking in the dark, unsure about decisions that you need to make or what the next step is in life, listen to God’s Word through David. Spend time reading Scripture and taking the time to ponder what God is saying to you. If you are feeling like the “simple” person who is half-hearted in her commitment, open God’s Word. Maybe even start in the Psalms. Read it; meditate on it. Ask God to restore to you the joy of your salvation despite apathy (Psalm 51:12). Above all, look to the One who is the Light and the Word. He lived the words of this book perfectly, yet he died in our place because we cannot live them perfectly. And even so, He lives again. He is always available, always faithful, always willing to be the Light to guide us wherever we need to go.
Father, open our eyes that we may behold wondrous things from your law. Open our eyes that we may see and our ears that we may hear what the Spirit is saying. We acknowledge that apart from You, we can do nothing.
ESV Study Bible
Life Application Bible
Praying God’s Word by Beth Moore