Who is among you that feareth the Lord?
&c.] Not with a slavish fear of the awful majesty of God, or of his tremendous judgments, or of wrath to come, but with a filial fear, a fear of the Lord, and his goodness, which is an internal principle in the heart, a reverential affection for God, a godly fear of him; is attended with faith in him, and joy of him; which makes holy, and keeps humble, and takes in the whole worship of God: of men of this character there are but few, and especially there were but few among the Jews at this time which the prophecy refers to; the greatest part were rejecters of Christ, before spoken of, and to; and from whom the Lord turns himself, and addresses these few. There are none that naturally fear the Lord, only such who have the grace bestowed on them; their number is but small, but there are always some in the worst of times, and these are taken notice of by the Lord, ( Malachi 3:16 Malachi 3:17 ) ( 4:2 ) , that obeyeth the voice of his servant:
not the prophet, as the Targum adds, and as it is commonly interpreted by the Jewish writers, and others; though some of them say F4 this is "Metatron", a name of the Messiah with them; and indeed he is meant, before spoken of as the Lord's servant, and represented as an obedient one, and afterwards as righteous; see ( Isaiah 49:3 ) ( Isaiah 50:5 Isaiah 50:6 ) ( 53:11 ) and by his "voice" is meant either his Gospel, which is a soul quickening and comforting voice, a charming and alluring one; and which is obeyed, heard, and hearkened to, by his people, externally and internally, when they receive it by faith, and in the love of it; or else his commands, precepts, and ordinances, which love constrains his people to an obedience unto; and where there is the fear of God, there will be hearing of his word, and submission to his ordinances: that walketh in darkness:
not the Lord's servant, but the man that fears the Lord, and obeys his servant's voice, such an one may be in darkness, and walk in it; or "in darknesses" F5, as in the original; not only in affliction and misery, often expressed by darkness in Scripture, but in desertion, under the hidings of God's face; and which may continue for a while: and hath no light?
or "shining" F6: not without the light of nature, nor without the light of grace, but without the light of God's countenance shining upon him; without the light of spiritual joy and comfort shining in his heart; and this must be a very distressing case indeed. Let him trust in the name of the Lord;
not in himself, nor in any creature, but in the Lord himself; in the perfections of his nature, his mercy, grace, and goodness; in the name of the Lord, which is a strong tower, and in whom is salvation; in Christ, in whom the name of the Lord is, and whose name is the Lord our Righteousness; and to trust in him, when in the dark, is a glorious act of faith; this is believing in hope against hope. And stay upon his God;
covenant interest continues in the darkest dispensation; God is the believer's God still; and faith is a staying or leaning upon him, as such; a dependence upon his power to protect, on his wisdom to guide, and on his grace, goodness, and all sufficiency, to supply.