|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
18:20-28 Those that forsake the ways of the Lord, depart from their God. But though conscious to ourselves of many a false step, let there not be a wicked departure from our God. David kept his eye upon the rule of God's commands. Constant care to keep from that sin, whatever it be, which most easily besets us, proves that we are upright before God. Those who show mercy to others, even they need mercy. Those who are faithful to God, shall find him all that to them which he has promised to be. The words of the Lord are pure words, very sure to be depended on, and very sweet to be delighted in. Those who resist God, and walk contrary to him, shall find that he will walk contrary to them, Le 26:21-24. The gracious recompence of which David spoke, may generally be expected by those who act from right motives. Hence he speaks comfort to the humble, and terror to the proud; Thou wilt bring down high looks. And he speaks encouragement to himself; Thou wilt light my candle: thou wilt revive and comfort my sorrowful spirit; thou wilt guide my way, that I may avoid the snares laid for me. Thou wilt light my candle to work by, and give me an opportunity of serving thee. Let those that walk in darkness, and labour under discouragements, take courage; God himself will be a Light to them.
Verses 28-45. - As in the former narrative section (vers. 4-24) David seems to have had his earlier troubles in mind, so, in the present one, his troubles since he entered upon the kingdom seem especially to engage his thoughts. These consisted chiefly of wars with foreign enemies, in which, while he incurred many dangers, he was, upon the whole, eminently successful. Verse 28. - For thou wilt light my candle; rather, my lamp - the word generally used of the lamps supported by the seven-branched candelabrum of the tabernacle (see Exodus 25:37; Exodus 37:22, 23; Exodus 40:25). David himself is called "the lamp of Israel" in 2 Samuel 21:17. The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. The true lamp of David, which "enlightened his darkness," was "the light of God's countenance." While this shone upon him, his whole path was bright, and he himself, reflecting the Divine rays, was a lamp to others.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For thou wilt light my candle,.... Or lamp (d): in 2 Samuel 22:29, it is, "Thou art my lamp, O Lord"; which may either design outward prosperity, and the flourishing condition of David's kingdom; or internal spiritual light, and an increase of it, by giving fresh supplies of the oil of grace, to cause the lamp to burn more clearly; or rather the prosperous estate of Christ's kingdom; and may be the same with the lamp ordained for the Messiah, Psalm 132:17;
the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness; or "cause light to shine in my darkness" (e); that is, bring me out of darkness into light; either out of adversity to prosperity, or from walking in darkness to the enjoyment of the light of his countenance; and is true of Christ, not only of the prosperity of his kingdom and interest, but of him personally; who though, when on the cross, was in darkness of soul, being forsaken by his God; yet, when raised from the dead, he was received up to heaven, and set down at the right hand of God, and was made full of joy with his countenance, Acts 2:28.
(d) "lucernam meam", Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, &c. (e) So Gussetius, Comment. Ebr. p. 495.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
28. To give one light is to make prosperous (Job 18:5, 6; 21:17).
thou—is emphatic, as if to say, I can fully confide in Thee for help.
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