For in You I can charge an army; with my God I can scale a wall.
What a wonderful effect the light of God's countenance has upon men who have the Divine life in them, but who have been living in the dark! Travellers tell us that, in the vast forests of the Amazon and the Orinoco, you may sometimes see, on a grand scale, the influence Of light in the colouring of the plants when the leaf-buds are developing One says: — "Clouds and rain sometimes obscure the atmosphere for several days together, and during this time the buds expand themselves into leaves. But these leaves have a pallid hue till the sun appears, when in a few hours of dear sky and splendid sunshine, their colour is changed to a vivid green. It has been related that, during twenty days of dark, dull weather, the sun not once making his appearance, the leaves were expanded to their full size, but were almost white. One forenoon the sun began to shine in full brightness, when the colour of the forest changed so rapidly that its progress might be marked. By the middle of the afternoon, the whole, for many miles, presented the usual summer dress."
The image of a lamp seems at first too humble to be employed of God. "The Lord God is a Sun" (Psalm 84:11
) appears more suitable for One so great, who is the Light of the universe. Still, the humbler and homelier image is expressive. A lamp is of service where the sun is of none - in mines, dark cellars and dungeons, etc. Its light is more readily commanded and appropriated. We can say, "My
lamp," we cannot so well say, "My
sun." And so this image may convey to us more readily how God is a Light in the darkest places and obscurest recesses; available to each for his own particular needs and for the humblest uses of daily life. But the distinction need not and should not be pressed. The word is an image of light.
I. A FACT STATED. "Thou art my Lamp, O Lord."
1. He shines as a bright lamp.
(1) He is Light without darkness (1 John 1:5); essential, independent, unchangeable, and eternal Light. Not needing to be or capable of being replenished, as all other lamps, literal or figurative.
(2) He shines pre-eminently in his Son Jesus Christ.
(3) In and by his Word - its declarations, precepts, promises, threatenings. "The commandment is a lamp, and the Law is light" (Proverbs 6:23).
(4) By his Spirit, in the reason, conscience, and heart of man. Thus "the spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord" (Proverbs 20:27, Revised Version).
(5) In and by his people. He so shines on them as to make them lights.
2. He thus fulfils the various purposes of a lamp.
(1) Revealing. Himself, and in his light all other persons and things in their true nature and relations to him and each other (comp. Ephesians 5:13). Bringing into view what had been hidden in the heart, etc., by the darkness.
(2) Guiding. In the way that is right and safe, and leads to salvation (Psalm 119:105). He thus gives "the light of life" (John 8:12).
(3) Cheering (Psalm 4:6, 7; Psalm 97:11; comp. Esther 8:16).
3. He is a lamp to each believer. "My Lamp." Similarly," The Lord is my Light" (Psalm 27:1). The godly man accepts the Divine light, uses it in practical life, enjoys the comfort of it. Others reject it, and wander and stumble on in darkness.
II. AN ASSURANCE CHERISHED. "The Lord will lighten my darkness." From his knowledge of God and his promises, and his past experience, the psalmist felt assured that whatever darkness might come upon him. God would be his light in and through it, yea, would turn the darkness into light. Such an assurance may be cherished t)y all the people of God. He will lighten the darkness which may arise from:
1. Perplexity. As to Divine truth and as to the path of duty.
2. Sin. The memory of sins long past or recent; the consciousness of proneness to evil.
3. Spiritual gloom. When the lights of heaven seem blotted out, and God seems himself to have deserted the soul (Psalm 22:1, 2; Psalm 42.).
4. Troubles. Afflictions of body; bereavements, making dark the home; unkindness or unfaithfulness of friends; worldly losses. When all other lights go out, and leave in gloom, God remains, the Light of his friends, and will in due time lighten their darkness. Let all, then, accept this glorious Lamp for their guidance and comfort. How blessed the world of which it is said, "There shall be no night there... for the Lord God giveth them light;" and again, "The glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the Light thereof" (Revelation 22:5; Revelation 21:23)! - G.W.
For Thou art my lamp, O Lord; and the Lord will lighten my darkness.
The Rev. Dr. Horton, who, after a period of seclusion through trouble with his eyesight, recently returned to his church at Hampstead, related in one of his Sabbath sermons how one day he was in the oculist's consulting-room at Wiesbaden, and as he waited he put his hand into his pocket and drew out his little Bible — not to read it, but to see if he could — and as he opened it his eyes tell on the text in 2 Samuel., "For Thou art my lamp, O Lord: and the Lord will lighten my darkness." "I had not been aware of the very existence of this text, and do not know who but an angel could have led me to it; but I felt that whether I received my sight or not, those words were enough for me, and from that time I seemed to know that I should not die, but live to proclaim the words of this life."
It is worth noting how plants and trees turn to the light; how bleached vegetation becomes if it be shut up in darkness. The utter dark is dreadful to men, it may even be felt, so does it press upon the mind. The dimness of a foggy day depresses many spirits more than trouble or pain. The cry of the sick man, "Would God it were morning!" is the groan of all healthy life when gloom surrounds it. What, then, can be said, if there be light, and we refuse it? He must have ill work on hand who loves the darkness. Only bats, and owls, and unclean and ravenous things are fond of the night. Children of light walk in the light, and reflect the light.
()It had been one of those days on which everything goes contrary, and I had come home tired and discouraged. As I sank into a chair, I groaned, "Everything looks dark, dark." "Why don't you turn your face to the light, auntie, dear?" said my little niece, who was standing unperceived beside me. "Turn your face to the light!" The word sot me thinking. That was just what I had not been doing. I had persistently kept nay face in the opposite direction, refusing to see the faintest glimmer of brightness. Artless little comforter I She did not know what healing she had brought. Years had gone by since then, but the simple words have never been forgotten, "Turn your face to the light."Sir James Wylie, late physician to the Emperor of Russia, attentively studied the effects of light as a curative agent in the hospital of St. Petersburg, and he discovered that the number of patients who were cured in rosins properly lighted was four times that of those confined in dark room. These different results are due to the agency of light, without a full supply of which plants and animals maintain but a sickly and feeble existence. Light is the cheapest and best of all medicines. Nervous ailments yield to the power of sunshine. Pallid faces grow fresh and ruddy beneath its glow. The sun's rays have wonderful purifying power.
TopicsCrush, Leap, Leaped, Run, Scale, Shutting, Troop, Wall, Yea
Outline1. David's psalm of thanksgiving for God's deliverance and blessings
Dictionary of Bible Themes2 Samuel 22:30
2 Samuel 22:2-51
8609 prayer, as praise and thanksgiving
LibraryDavid's Hymn of victory
'For Thou hast girded me with strength to battle: them that, rose up against me hast Thou subdued under me. 41. Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies, that I might destroy them that hate me. 42. They looked, but there was none to save; even unto the Lord, but He answered them not. 43. Then did I beat them as small as the dust of the earth, I did stamp them as the mire of the street, and did spread them abroad. 44. Thou also hast delivered me from the strivings of my people, Thou hast …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
ON the revival of science in the 16th century, some of the earliest conclusions at which philosophers arrived were found to be at variance with popular and long-established belief. The Ptolemaic system of astronomy, which had then full possession of the minds of men, contemplated the whole visible universe from the earth as the immovable centre of things. Copernicus changed the point of view, and placing the beholder in the sun, at once reduced the earth to an inconspicuous globule, a merely subordinate …
Frederick Temple—Essays and Reviews: The Education of the World
The First Commandment
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.' Exod 20: 3. Why is the commandment in the second person singular, Thou? Why does not God say, You shall have no other gods? Because the commandment concerns every one, and God would have each one take it as spoken to him by name. Though we are forward to take privileges to ourselves, yet we are apt to shift off duties from ourselves to others; therefore the commandment is in the second person, Thou and Thou, that every one may know that it is spoken to him, …
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments
In the Present Crusade against the Bible and the Faith of Christian Men...
IN the present crusade against the Bible and the Faith of Christian men, the task of destroying confidence in the first chapter of Genesis has been undertaken by Mr. C. W. Goodwin, M.A. He requires us to "regard it as the speculation of some Hebrew Descartes or Newton, promulgated in all good faith as the best and most probable account that could be then given of God's Universe." (p. 252.) Mr. Goodwin remarks with scorn, that "we are asked to believe that a vision of Creation was presented to him …
John William Burgon—Inspiration and Interpretation
A Discourse of Mercifulness
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Matthew 5:7 These verses, like the stairs of Solomon's temple, cause our ascent to the holy of holies. We are now mounting up a step higher. Blessed are the merciful . . '. There was never more need to preach of mercifulness than in these unmerciful times wherein we live. It is reported in the life of Chrysostom that he preached much on this subject of mercifulness, and for his much pressing Christians to mercy, he was called of many, the alms-preacher, …
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12
The Ark among the Flags
'And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi. 2. And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months. 3. And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river's brink. 4. And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him. 5. And the daughter of Pharaoh came …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
Christ's Prophetic Office
'The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet,' &c. Deut 18:85. Having spoken of the person of Christ, we are next to speak of the offices of Christ. These are Prophetic, Priestly, and Regal. 'The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet.' Enunciatur hic locus de Christo. It is spoken of Christ.' There are several names given to Christ as a Prophet. He is called the Counsellor' in Isa 9:9. In uno Christo Angelus foederis completur [The Messenger of the Covenant appears in Christ alone]. …
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity
Alike from the literary and the historical point of view, the book of Samuel stands midway between the book of Judges and the book of Kings. As we have already seen, the Deuteronomic book of Judges in all probability ran into Samuel and ended in ch. xii.; while the story of David, begun in Samuel, embraces the first two chapters of the first book of Kings. The book of Samuel is not very happily named, as much of it is devoted to Saul and the greater part to David; yet it is not altogether inappropriate, …
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament
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