The Lamp and the Dawn
2 Peter 1:19
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto you do well that you take heed, as to a light that shines in a dark place…

Notwithstanding Peter's personal acquaintance with the Lord Jesus, and the abundant evidence which had come before him, during Christ's ministry, of his Master's duty and authority, Peter was far from disparaging the value of those attestations to the authority and sway of the Messiah-Prince to be found in the Scriptures of the Old Testament.

I. THE NIGHT OF TIME. The world is, apart from special illumination from above, a dark place. The human race, in this condition of being, are like wanderers in midnight gloom. Ignorance of what it most concerns us to know, sinful habits which cloud the reason and even corrupt the conscience, hopelessness as to the future beyond this brief mortal existence, - such are the elements of moral darkness. The gloom is not unrelieved, but it is real and undeniable.

II. THE LAMP OF REVELATION. The darkness of man's moral condition has been to some extent dispelled and scattered by the light which God himself has kindled in the minds of holy and devout men, and which they have shed upon their fellow-mortals' path. In them has been verified the grand saying of the poet -

"Heaven doth with us, as we with torches do,
Not light them for themselves." The prophets, whose writings form a large part of the sacred volume, have rendered a service to humanity which in our day is inadequately acknowledged. Certainly they have introduced into human thinking and literature many of our sublimest conceptions of God, of morality, of society. And certainly they have done much to sustain the faith of men in a Divine rule, and to inspire the hope of men in a glorious future for the moral universe. Not only did they reveal the coming of the King whose way to empire should be through suffering and death; they revealed the prospect of a kingdom which has yet to be realized, and which is to secure the highest welfare of man and to exhibit the eternal glory of God.

III. THE DAYBREAK OF CHRIST'S KINGDOM. The lamp is well enough for the night; but how welcome and how precious to the watcher or the traveler is the break of day! The day-star, the light-bringer, shines with rays of lustrous promise. Then the gray dawn appears in the east, and reddens as the sunrise approaches. Soon the sun rises in his strength and floods the world with light. The process is a picture of what happens in the spiritual history of humanity.

1. What the day is deserves to be considered. It is the day of knowledge, of holiness, of "hope. Through the shining of the Sun of Righteousness, they who sometime were darkness are now light in the Lord.

2. Where the day shines is also matter of great interest. To St. Peter the glory of noontide splendour was still in the future. Certain it is that the kingdom of Christ, like the path of the just, "shineth more and more unto the perfect day." What we have hitherto seen has been the beauty and the promise of the morning. The full noontide splendour has yet to be revealed. But in indulging bright hopes for the world, for the destiny of our redeemed and regenerated humanity, let us not lose sight of the internal, the spiritual, the personal experience of enlightenment. St. Peter's hope was that "in your hearts" this day should dawn, and this day-star arise. We have to look not only without, but within. If the heart be dark as a cavern secluded in forest depths from every ray of the sun in heaven, of what avail for us is it that the world is bathed in spiritual luster?


1. Take heed to the lamp of prophecy, which does not cease to shine, and which is needed by every traveler through the night of time, to direct his feet into the paths of safety, wisdom, and peace.

2. Hail the promise of the morning, and look forward to the spiritual and perfect day. Of times and seasons we know but little; but this we know - "The Lord is at hand;" "The morning cometh." "Lift up, then, your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh." - J.R.T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

WEB: We have the more sure word of prophecy; and you do well that you heed it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns, and the morning star arises in your hearts:

The Dawn of Day
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