Vol. 11 April, 1949 No. 2

Psalm 66:18

"If I, regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me."

This verse has discouraged many from praying to God. It is not difficult to regard iniquity in our hearts, and the nearer we approach to God, the more do we become conscious of it. At this rate, the Lord would never hear us. At a prayer meeting for young people many years ago this verse was cited as an example of things that may hinder in prayer.

Some versions attempt to turn aside the difficulty. Darby renders by "Had I regarded iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not hear." Rotherham renders by "If iniquity I had cared for in my heart, My Lord had not heard me."

While it is an inescapable fact that God will not hearken to those who are bent upon evil, the context is against the A. V. reading. The order in Hebrew is as follows: "Trouble (aven; hardly quite iniquity or lawlessness) if I see in my heart, not is hearing Adonay." It has been suggested that the former clause was originally probably not AUN AM RAITHI B-LBl, but ANI AMR THI B-LBI. This would mean, "I said in my heart. . . " A great many verses in the Psalms require corrections such as this. The Psalmist had been extolling Elohim with his tongue. Then the suspicion entered his heart that perhaps after all Jehovah (as the primitive Hebrew appears to read) was not hearkening. Which of us has not experienced this gloomy doubt? Quickly, however, does the Psalmist reject this false thought, for he continues, "Surely does God hear; He attends to the voice of my prayer." If that has not been your experience, if you have not encountered the Living God, in Christ, in prayer, all your study of the Scriptures is in vain. Because your greatest need now is to KNOW GOD.

ALEXANDER THOMSON

Last updated 8.9.2007