The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.
The text is an account of the soul, or spiritual part in man. The spirit of man is the lamp of Jehovah, i.e., its operations and manner of performing them are similar to those of a lamp, and it is supported in them by Jehovah spiritually, as a lamp is in nature physically. In a lamp are four things.
1. A vessel.
2. A substance capable of being illuminated.
3. Necessity for kindling it.
4. Constant recruits of oil to supply it and keep it burning. These particulars are as spiritually true in the soul of man.
I. THE SOUL HAS A VESSEL IN WHICH IT IS ENCLOSED AND CONTAINED. The body is the vessel of this lamp of Jehovah.
II. THE SOUL, THOUGH CAPABLE OF RECEIVING ILLUMINATION FROM GOD, IS IN ITSELF ABSOLUTELY DARK. When, by that grand and original sin at the fall, the light that was in us became darkness, how great was that darkness! By the fall this most glorious excellency and perfection of our nature, spiritual discernment by faith, was lost, and we became like the beasts.
III. CHRIST WAS SENT TO KINDLE A LIGHT IN THE SOUL. "A light to lighten the Gentiles." "The true light that lighteth (the lamp of) every one coming into the world." When the light of Jehovah is lighted in the soul of man, and not overwhelmed by sensuality, it conquers and triumphs over the natural darkness that is in us. When the Divine light is the agent in the soul, the moment it meets with any darkness to impede and obstruct its operations it at once recoils, and by that means admonishes us of it; after which it never rests till it has either expelled it or conformed it to itself.
IV. SPIRITUAL OIL IS NECESSARY TO KEEP THE LIGHT ALIVE IN OUR HEARTS. The Holy Spirit is the Divine oil that must feed and nourish our lamps. Inferences for our direction in faith and practice:
1. If the body is a vessel to contain the heavenly lamp, how few are seeking to "possess this vessel in sanctification and honour."
2. If the soul be dark by nature, what becomes of that idol of the deists, the "light of nature"?
3. If Christ be the only person that can lighten our darkness, to Him let every man go.
4. Let us not make the fatal mistake of setting out to meet the Bridegroom, without taking oil in our vessels, with our lamps.
Parallel VersesKJV: The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.