Light Up My Eyes (Psalm 19:8b)

Psalm 19:8b


     the commandment of the Lord is pure,

       enlightening the eyes;


            Just for a moment, let’s take a look at the words here that help us grasp the perfection and impact of God’s word.


            The word for commandment is interesting.  In Exodus 24:12, it is combined with Torah to say what God gave Moses on the mountain.  It is the Hebrew word mitzvah, from which we get the word bar-mitzvah, son of the law, which is the Jewish boy’s right of passage from childhood to adulthood.  As the commandment of God, the scripture has authority.  It is not optional.  It is the command of God that we must follow, or we rebel against him.


            The commandments of God are pure.  The word for pure means just that, pure, clean, innocent, or choice as in a choice offering.  The 2 other times it occurs in the psalms, it refers to one who has a pure heart.  There is no evil, no blemish, no taint of sin in God’s word.  It is completely and perfectly pure. 


            And these pure commands of God enlighten our eyes.  There are two possible ideas behind this phrase, and I think both perfectly apply to what the word of God does.


Psalm 119:130


     The unfolding of your words gives light;

       it imparts understanding to the simple.


One idea is that the word of God gives us light, imparting to us understanding or wisdom.  Without question, God’s commands do that for us, as they teach us who God is and what he demands of us.


But there is also…


1 Samuel 14:27


But Jonathan had not heard his father charge the people with the oath, so he put out the tip of the staff that was in his hand and dipped it in the honeycomb and put his hand to his mouth, and his eyes became bright.


Ezra 9:8


But now for a brief moment favor has been shown by the Lord our God, to leave us a remnant and to give us a secure hold within his holy place, that our God may brighten our eyes and grant us a little reviving in our slavery.


Psalm 13:3


     Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;

       light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,


In all three of these passages, where light is connected to your eyes, it means to refresh or rejuvenate you.  I honestly think this is more in view in our treatment of God’s word.  Yes, God’s word gives us wisdom.  But, it also gives us life.  It gives us strength to serve God.  When we, as believers, read, meditate on, and follow the pure commands of God, we are strengthened, energized, and empowered to follow our God.