Give glory to the LORD your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble on the dark mountains, and…
I. THE COMMAND. One way in which we may obey this command is by confession of sin, the humbling of self before God on account of general unworthiness, and also on account of particular acts of sin. Our natural hearts think but little of sin in this light, as dishonouring to God; they are accustomed and inured to sin; and hence it excites no feeling of aversion, unless exhibited in its grosser forms. By the confession of sin, therefore, God is to be glorified, and how full the promises which God has connected with it! (Proverbs 28:13; Psalm 32:5; 2 Samuel 12:13.) Closely connected with this confession of sin there is a way in which we are called upon to "give glory to the Lord our God," and that is, by receiving God's offered salvation. The public means of grace have been afforded this year as usual. And yet the fact forces itself upon us, as painful as it is obvious, that there may be an outward participation in these privileges, and at the same time no glory given to God. There is nothing so dishonouring to God as unbelief, for in the solemn words of inspiration, "He that believeth not God hath made Him a liar," etc. We may observe, also, that when there is this exercise of faith, receiving God's offered salvation, its tendency is not to exalt the pride of man, but to ascribe all the glory to God: see, for example, Ephesians 1, where the grace of God is so fully set forth, and three times in that one chapter the expression occurs that every step of that salvation is "to the praise of His glory." But again, we may obey the command to give glory to the Lord our God by aiming to live according to His will. This can be effected by those only who are obeying the invitations of the Gospel; others have various aims in life, but if Christ is not received into the heart, they cannot live according to God's will. The Lord has a right to look for obedience in His professing people. We give glory to God, by simple childlike confidence in Him and in His providential care and love, by the discharge of the ordinary duties of life, conscientiously as in His sight, and by thus acting up to the spirit of that command, "Whether therefore ye eat or drink," etc. So, also, by submission to His will we are to give glory to God, that which is so easy when God's will runs parallel, so to speak, with our own — so hard when it runs counter to our natural desires. Then to glorify God in the fires, amid the various trials which every year brings in its course, trials which have to do with health, or circumstances, or bereavements; to sin not, nor charge God foolishly; like Aaron to hold our peace in mute submission when the heart is too full for utterance; to receive the gracious assurance given by the lips of our Divine Master, "Said I not unto thee, that if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?" to know the loving sympathy of Him who has said, "I am He that comforteth you"; one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort thee." The various other ways in which we are to give glory to God, and live according to His will, may be summed up in the one expression, fruitfulness in good works.
II. THE TIME FOR YIELDING THIS OBEDIENCE IS LIMITED. "Before He cause darkness," etc. In this figure the present time is compared to the day — the time for work, and for obedience, and for giving glory to God, — the time for guiding us safe through the narrow path that leads to heaven and home. Oh, how solemn is the thought of the uncertainty of life. How fearful that darkness must be when it overtakes the sinner groping about in life's byways, instead of being at the gates of the heavenly city, where all is light forever; life's work undone, and no more the call heard to glorify God, but the cry which excludes hope, "He that is unjust," etc.
(J. H. Holford, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Give glory to the LORD your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.
WEB: Give glory to Yahweh your God, before he causes darkness, and before your feet stumble on the dark mountains, and, while you look for light, he turns it into the shadow of death, and makes it gross darkness.