Posted by: rcottrill | July 6, 2012

Open My Eyes That I May See

Words: Clara H. Fiske Scott (b. Dec. 3, 1831; d. June 21, 1897)
Music: Clara H. Fiske Scott

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal

Note: This hymn was first published in 1895, two years before Mrs. Scott’s death at the age of sixty-six.

During the years of His earthly ministry, the Lord Jesus healed the blind (e.g. Matt. 20:29-34), caused the deaf to hear, and the mute to speak (e.g. Mk. 7:31-37). When John the Baptist, then in prison, asked whether Jesus was indeed Israel’s promised Messiah, the Lord’s response was:

“Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them” (Lk. 7:22).

The miracles of Christ were His credentials, affirming His identity and authenticating His message (Acts 2:22), and these things were in keeping with the prophetic picture of what the Messiah would do, when He came to set up His earthly kingdom (Isa. 35:5-6).

But we know that there are spiritual parallels to these physical maladies. There is spiritual blindness (II Cor. 4:4; Eph. 4:18), and deafness (Ezek. 12:2; II Tim. 4:4), and difficulty speaking. (Perhaps the latter may refer to the fear of man (Prov. 29:25) that keeps us silent, when we have an opportunity to witness for the Lord.)

And just as the Lord was able to heal the physical disabilities, so He can, by His Spirit, restore our spiritual sight, hearing and speech. That is Clara Scott’s prayer, like that of the psalmist who asked the Lord, “Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law” (Ps. 119:18).

CH-1) Open my eyes, that I may see
Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That shall unclasp and set me free.

Silently now I wait for Thee,
Ready my God, Thy will to see,
Open my eyes, illumine me,
Spirit divine!

The refrain speaks of keeping silent before God, of a hushed and expectant waiting on Him, which is appropriate. But other times our silence can be a spiritual problem in at least a couple of ways.

1) If there is sin in our lives that remains unconfessed, it can disrupt our fellowship with the Lord, rob us of peace and joy, and hinder our ministry (Ps. 32:3; Prov. 28:13). And sin, in turn can dull our spiritual sensitivity, keeping us from seeing and hearing God’s truth (Jer 5:21). Sin needs to be confessed (I Jn. 1:9).

2) It’s sad when we fail to share the good news, when the Lord gives us an opportunity. We need a passion and a heart-felt desire to speak a word for Christ. As Paul puts it, “Necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!” (I Cor. 9:16; cf. II Kgs. 7:9).

“Be ready to give a defence [an answer] to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (I Pet. 3:15).

CH-3) Open my mouth, and let me bear,
Gladly the warm truth everywhere;
Open my heart and let me prepare
Love with Thy children thus to share.

1) What is the remedy (or what are the remedies) for those who are not seeing or hearing God’s truth with their spirits?

2) In contrast to the above, are there situations when it is wisest to remain silent, and not say what we might want to say? (Give an example.)

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal


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