For the Lord God is a sun - The Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate render this, “For the Lord loveth mercy and truth.” Our translation, however, is the correct one. The sun gives light, warmth, beauty, to the creation; so God is the source of light, joy, happiness, to the soul. Compare Isaiah 60:19; Revelation 21:23; Revelation 22:5.
And shield - See Psalm 84:9.
The Lord will give grace and glory - Grace, or favor, here; glory, or honor, in the world to come. He will bestow all needful favor on his people in this life; he will admit them to glory in the world to come. Grace and glory are connected. The bestowment of the one will be followed by the other. Romans 8:29-30. He that partakes of the grace of God on earth will partake of glory in heaven. Grace comes before glory; glory always follows where grace is given.
No good thing will he withhold - Nothing really good; nothing that man really needs; nothing pertaining to this life, nothing necessary to prepare for the life to come. Compare 1 Timothy 4:8; Philemon 4:19.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield - To illuminate, invigorate, and warm; to protect and defend all such as prefer him and his worship to every thing the earth can produce.
It is remarkable that not one of the Versions understand the שמש shemesh, as signifying sun, as we do. They generally concur in the following translation: "For the Lord loveth mercy and truth, and he will give grace and glory." The Chaldee says, "The Lord is as a high wall and a strong shield; grace and glory will the Lord give, and will not deprive those of blessedness who walk in perfection." Critics in general take the word as signifying a defense or a guard. Instead of שמש shemesh, sun, Houbigant reads שמר shemer, a keeper or guardian, and says that to represent God as the sun is without example in the sacred writings. But is not Malachi 4:2, a parallel passage to this place? "Unto you that fear my name, shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings." No MS. countenances the alteration of Houbigant.
The Lord will give grace - To pardon, purify, and save the soul from sin: and then he will give glory to the sanctified in his eternal kingdom; and even here he withholds no good thing from them that walk uprightly. Well, therefore, might the psalmist say, Psalm 84:12, "O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee."
Children and youth may come to Jesus with their burdens and perplexities, and know that He will respect their appeals to Him, and give them the very things they need. Be earnest; be resolute. Present the promise of God, and then believe without a doubt. Do not wait to feel special emotions before you think the Lord answers. Do not mark out some particular way that the Lord must work for you before you believe you receive the things you ask of Him; but trust His word, and leave the whole matter in the hands of the Lord, with full faith that your prayer will be honored, and the answer will come at the very time and in the very way your heavenly Father sees is for your good; and then live out your prayers. Walk humbly and keep moving forward. MYP 123.1
“For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Psalm 84:11. MYP 123.2
“O fear the Lord, ye His saints: for there is no want to them that fear Him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.” Psalm 34:9, 10. MYP 124.1Read in context »
When at Battle Creek, Michigan, May 5, 1855, I saw that there was a great lack of faith with the servants of God, as well as with the church. They were too easily discouraged, too ready to doubt God, too willing to believe that they had a hard lot and that God had forsaken them. I saw that this was cruel. God so loved them as to give His dearly beloved Son to die for them, and all heaven was interested in their salvation; yet after all that had been done for them, it was hard to believe and trust so kind and good a Father. He has said that He is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him, than earthly parents are to give good gifts to their children. I saw that the servants of God and the church were too easily discouraged. When they asked their Father in heaven for things which they thought they needed, and these did not immediately come, their faith wavered, their courage fled, and a murmuring feeling took possession of them. This, I saw, displeased God. 1T 120.1Read in context »
Another element of prevailing prayer is faith. “He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6. Jesus said to His disciples, “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” Mark 11:24. Do we take Him at His word? SC 96.1
The assurance is broad and unlimited, and He is faithful who has promised. When we do not receive the very things we asked for, at the time we ask, we are still to believe that the Lord hears and that He will answer our prayers. We are so erring and short-sighted that we sometimes ask for things that would not be a blessing to us, and our heavenly Father in love answers our prayers by giving us that which will be for our highest good—that which we ourselves would desire if with vision divinely enlightened we could see all things as they really are. When our prayers seem not to be answered, we are to cling to the promise; for the time of answering will surely come, and we shall receive the blessing we need most. But to claim that prayer will always be answered in the very way and for the particular thing that we desire, is presumption. God is too wise to err, and too good to withhold any good thing from them that walk uprightly. Then do not fear to trust Him, even though you do not see the immediate answer to your prayers. Rely upon His sure promise, “Ask, and it shall be given you.” SC 96.2
If we take counsel with our doubts and fears, or try to solve everything that we cannot see clearly, before we have faith, perplexities will only increase and deepen. But if we come to God, feeling helpless and dependent, as we really are, and in humble, trusting faith make known our wants to Him whose knowledge is infinite, who sees everything in creation, and who governs everything by His will and word, He can and will attend to our cry, and will let light shine into our hearts. Through sincere prayer we are brought into connection with the mind of the Infinite. We may have no remarkable evidence at the time that the face of our Redeemer is bending over us in compassion and love, but this is even so. We may not feel His visible touch, but His hand is upon us in love and pitying tenderness. SC 96.3Read in context »
For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light. Ephesians 5:8. SD 200.1
“Walk in the light.” To walk in the light means to resolve, to exercise thought, to exert will-power, in an earnest endeavor to represent Christ in sweetness of character. It means to put away all gloom. You are not to rest satisfied simply in saying, “I am a child of God.” Are you beholding Jesus, and, by beholding, becoming changed into His likeness? To walk in the light means advancement and progress in spiritual attainments. Paul declared, “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect; but ... forgetting those things which are behind,” constantly beholding the Pattern, I reach “forth unto those things which are before.” To walk in the light means to “walk uprightly,” to walk “in the way of the Lord,” to “walk by faith,” to “walk in the Spirit,” to “walk in the truth,” to “walk in love,” to “walk in the newness of life.” It is “perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” SD 200.2Read in context »