The Spirit of Man
Proverbs 20:27
The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.

When God had completed the house of the soul, He furnished it most liberally with glorious lights. The intellect is one of the bright lights placed in the soul's house to cheer and guide men in this life. The light of the human mind is invaluable. Man is scarcely a man without its illuminating flame. Then there is the guiding light of conscience. And there is the spiritual light which characterises all mankind, that leads humanity everywhere to worship God.

I. MAN IS A GREAT BEING. It is said alone of man, "In the image of God created He him." This singles out man as the greatest being on earth. Every earnest, intelligent, and devout man is in some degree conscious of an inherent greatness. Conscious personality is a unique power. In the moral realm every man is a sovereign who conceives plans and executes purposes of high significance and far-reaching consequences. Man's conscious personality survives the shock of death. Man is the son of God. The sons of God are partakers of the Divine nature. This raises them to a plane that is at an infinite distance from the creatures next to them in the scale of existence. Really true greatness consists in likeness to God. A good man is one of the greatest works of God.


1. The intellectual light of man is from God.

2. The light of conscience is from God. It is a pure, clear flame, that reveals to us the character of our thoughts and purposes before they become actions.

3. The spiritual light in man is from God. Savage and civilised, the world over, worship some god. The lamp that lights all men who come into the world, and leads them to worship, is doubtless of God's kindling. In worship, the soul pays its filial homage to God.

III. MAN HAS BEEN ILLUMINATED FOR A DIVINE PURPOSE. God created all things for His own glory. Men of great intellectual powers are placed by God in the midst of the world's moral darkness, that by their superior light they might scatter the mental night of their fellows. Great intellects possess a tremendous power for good or evil. "Man is like the candle lighted by the Spirit of God, radiating the glory of God's nature, and itself glorified by the Divine fire. But some men are unlighted candles."

(D. Rhys Jenkins.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.

WEB: The spirit of man is Yahweh's lamp, searching all his innermost parts.

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