Verse 3. O send out thy light and thy truth. The joy of thy presence and the faithfulness of thy heart; let both of these be manifest to me. Reveal my true character by thy light, and reward me according to thy truthful promise. As the sun darts forth his beams, so does the Lord send forth his favour and his faithfulness towards all his people; and as all nature rejoices in the sunshine, even so the saints triumph in the manifestation of the love and fidelity of their God, which, like the golden sunbeam, lights up even the darkest surroundings with delightful splendour. Let them lead me. Be these my star to guide me to my rest. Be these my Alpine guides to conduct me over mountains and precipices to the abodes of grace. Let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. First in thy mercy bring me to thine earthly courts, and end my weary exile, and then in due time admit me to thy celestial palace above. We seek not light to sin by, nor truth to be exalted by it, but that they may become our practical guides to the nearest communion with God: only such light and truth as are sent us from God will do this, common light is not strong enough to show the road to heaven, nor will mere moral or physical truths assist to the holy hill; but the light of the Holy Spirit, and the truth as it is in Jesus, these are elevating, sanctifying, perfecting; and hence their virtue in leading us to the glorious presence of God. It is beautiful to observe how David's longing to be away from the oppression of man always leads him to sigh more intensely for communion with God.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 3. O send out thy light and thy truth. Possibly there may be an allusion to the Urim and Thummim, as the symbol of light and truth. J. J. Stewart Perowne.
Verse 3. Light and truth. Delightful and all comprehensive words. Thy contain all the salvation and all the desire of a believing, confiding soul. But it is only when thus combined -- separated they are no longer a ground of trust and joy. For what would favour avail without faithfulness? It would be no more than the uncertain friendship of men, who smile today and reproach tomorrow; who make large promises, but do not perform them. Even the light which angels and glorified spirits enjoy in heaven would be insufficient to banish all fear and to fill them with satisfaction, were it not for their confidence in the truth of God. How much more, then, must this be the case with erring, sinful, mortals on earth? When the humble spirit is bowed down under a sense of its utter unworthiness and innumerable weaknesses and defilements, its negligences, follies, and wanderings, what should save from despair but the confidence that he who has been merciful will also be faithful; that God is truth as well as light; that he hath said, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee;" that he "cannot lie," and that, therefore, "his mercy endureth for ever?" On the other hand, truth without light, faithfulness without grace, would be only the dreadful execution of terrible but just denunciations on the transgressors of the holy law. "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Adam ate, and in that day became the subject of sin and death. This was truth executing judgment. But light arose around the darkness; beams of mercy tempered the heavy cloud. The promise of the Great Deliverer was given; then faithfulness was enlisted on the side of grace, and became engaged for its bestowment; "mercy and truth met together; righteousness and peace kissed each other." Since then, all humble and trusting souls have beheld them united, and have made their union the ground of their confidence and joy. Henry March.
Verse 3. Thy tabernacles. There were two tabernacles, one at Zion, where the ark stood, and another at Gibeon. 1 Chronicles 16:37 1 Chronicles 16:39 . It is not to this fact that the psalmist alludes, however, but to the circumstance, in all probability of the different parts of the tabernacle. There was, first the holiest of all, then the sanctuary, and then the tabernacle of the convocation. Hebrews 9:1-8 . John Morison.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 3. O send out thy light and thy truth.
- What is truth?
- How truth is to be diffused.
- Why it should be diffused.
- Who must be the main agent of it. Varied from Dr. Bogue.
Verse 3. The blessings desired; the guidance sought; the end longed for.
Verse 3. Under what influence we should resort to divine worship.