“O send out Thy light and Thy Truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto Thy holy hill, and to Thy tabernacles.” – Psalm xliii, 3.
In returning home from an appointment during the present winter, we had occasion, after leaving the train about 9 o’clock at night, to walk some distance. The night was very dark, the weather intensely cold, and the rude path over which we passed covered with a thin sheet of ice and snow.
But we pressed rapidly and cheerfully onward, for we had just left a bright circle of saints, and our heart was full of the preciousness of the meeting, and we trust with some evidence of the Divine Presence. The heavens above was full of blazing stars, that shone forth through a cloudless sky, dispelling to a great extent the darkness of the night. As we passed on through the dark and dense woods, occasionally a path appeared disposed to tempt our feet aside from the beaten track, over which we passed; and twice, at least, we hesitated, debating in our mind which of the various ways opening before us was the true path.
It was under these circumstances that the Scripture which we have quoted was impressed upon our mind.
“O send out Thy light and Thy Truth.” Here we certainly felt the need of both; light as it were, to shine upon the path, and Truth as a sign-board, to blaze the way. The Psalmist evidently realized the source from whence this Light proceeds. In earnest, fervent prayer, he lifts His voice to the boundless source of light and truth, which must come alone from Him who is clothed with life and immortality, “dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto.” This life and immortality is “brought to light (1 Timothy vi, 10,) through the Gospel.”
“This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” – John i, 5. “O send out Thy light.” Enriched in the dazzling splendor of light ineffable the eternal God sits enthroned in boundless power. In Him there is no darkness at all. It was said of the blessed Redeemer, “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.” This then is the character of the Light that shines upon the path of the just and which makes that path as the shining light which “shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”
“Let them lead me,” says the Psalmist. He would not go before the pillar of fire by night, or the cloud by day. – See Exodus xl, 34-38, Israel followed where they led. Not only does he speak of being led, but he adds, “Let them bring me unto Thy holy hill.” The all-conquering power of Gospel life and light must not only lead, but bring us. Underneath are the everlasting arms, that bear us onward and upward in the path of Divine life.
We have in Deuteronomy xxxii, 11-12, a testimony of the manner in which these children of grace are led. “As an eagle stirreth up her nest, futtereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: so the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with Him.” Wonderful testimony, and so fully experienced by the children of grace. “He led him about.” What a zigzag course Jacob seems to pursue. In his wanderings here and there he appears to a mortal eye, to be under anything else but the Divine guidance; yet,
“See how heaven’s indulgent care
Attends his wanders here and there.”
And “He led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.” Borne in the arms of everlasting love they are brought unto His holy hill of Zion. The Lord said unto Moses: “Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” Again, we are told, “His foundation is in the holy mountains.” We quote these declarations to indicate the nature of this holiness. It brings to our view an entire separation from every element of worldly power, and a consecration to the Lord.
Holiness to the Lord is drawn in living light around this holy hill of Zion, this sacred mountain of the Lord’s house. It is the holy system of Gospel grace ordained from of old, from everlasting or “ever the earth was,” and in which we are brought; yea, in the arms of eternal love, “unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God.” Brought there, and added to her body by the Lord alone.
“And,” the Psalmist continues, “to Thy tabernacles.” We have here an indirect if not a direct view of the visible churches, or branches of the true Church, that stand in stately order upon the sacred (Gospel) hill. An expression of somewhat similar import is found in Numbers xxii,9; “For from the top of the rocks I see Him, and from the hills I behold Him; lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.” “How amiable,” says the Psalmist, “are Thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.” “Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even Thine alters, O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God.” – Psalm lxxxiv, 1-3.
This is the city “set on an hill” that cannot be hid – Matthew v, 14.
“Traveler! Let thy wanderings cease;
Hie thee to thy quiet home.”
Well then may the trembling, inquiring child in the darkness of sin and doubt, and looking upward to the jasper-walled city, his heavenly and eternal home, cry unto the Lord; “O send out Thy light and Thy Truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto Thy holy hill, and to Thy tabernacles.”
Elder William M. Smoot,