God the Lamp of His People
2 Samuel 22:29
For you are my lamp, O LORD: and the LORD will lighten my darkness.

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.

Parallel Verses
KJV: For thou art my lamp, O LORD: and the LORD will lighten my darkness.

WEB: For you are my lamp, Yahweh. Yahweh will light up my darkness.

Christians' Love of the Light
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