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.
What the natural sun is to material nature, God is to this world and its tenants, especially to those who fear His name. Of all the figures employed indicating some features of resemblance to God, there is none more beautiful and appropriate than the sun. "It is a pleasant thing for the eye to behold the sun," i.e. to enjoy the effect of his diffused and reflected radiance. Earth and its countless inhabitants are deeply indebted to his vivifying rays. He is the source of all that quickens and beautifies nature, and thus has become the emblem of many blessings.
1. In all probability he was the first natural object which had the religious homage of man, and this may suggest the thought that the human mind delights in mysteries — in the insolvable more than the apparent and simple — as man could not easily prostrate himself before any object more mysterious in its nature. There is no searching of the sun; our eyes are too weak to stand the ceaseless ocean of light that emanates from him. How much less can we search the sun's Creator. Contrasted with Him, myriads of suns are like so many dark bodies. His revelation of Himself in His works, and in His Word, in His Son, and in our souls, is more than sufficient for the comprehension of any finite mind and beyond the ken of the most philosophic eye.
2. The sun is ever the same. Ever since the Creator said on the fourth day, "Let there be light," he has faithfully performed his function. Generations live and die; empires wax and wane; but he is the same from age to age, and gives his light to the father and the son; and shines upon the babe in his cradle as well as years after upon his grave, when numbered with the tenants of mortality. Thus the psalmist, in speaking of the kingdom of Christ, says, "His name shall endure for ever: His name shall be continued as long as the sun." God is unchangeable. He is "the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." His being fills every point of duration, "the first and the last, the beginning and the end, the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever." His thoughts and purposes are immutable. "The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever; the thoughts of His heart to all generations."
3. The sun is larger than all the other planets. — It is difficult go conceive an adequate idea of his magnitude. If all the planets from Mercury, that receives a continual stream of light from him, to Neptune — that is three thousand and six hundred millions of miles distant from him, somewhere on the confines of creation — were made into one world, it is said that it would require six hundred such worlds to constitute one that would approach the sun in its dimensions. Infinitely greater than this is the disparity which exists between God and the highest, the mightiest, and holiest of His creatures.
4. Of all the works of God the sun is the most conspicuous. He occupies the most prominent position among the planets of heaven. Take him from the constellations of heaven, and all is darkness and confusion. What would this world be apart from God? Confusion, darkness, and unmitigated misery. Blessed be His name, He is here, as the cause of all causes, the force of all forces, the agent of all agencies, the breath of all life, and the source of all good.
5. The sun is most generous. He gives his all freely and impartially; he shineth on the just and unjust; his rays fall upon the sower of iniquity as well as the Christian in devout prayer and meditation. It is generally accepted now as being true that there are in the sunbeam three different principles, viz. the chemical, luminiferous, and calorific, and that each has a function to discharge in relation to the fruits of the earth. The chemical has to do with germinating the plant, the luminous assists in secreting from the air the carbon essential to its growth, while the calorie, or heating rays, are required to nurture the seed, and form the reproductive elements. What wisdom displayed in the fact, that the first of these is more powerful in the spring than in the summer, while the second becomes more powerful in the summer, and that in the autumn both are lessened, while the third increases in force; i.e. each principle becomes potent at the time when most required. How eminently adapted to our wants as well as those of Nature.
6. The sun is a fountain from whence flows a perpetual stream of goodness, and is an invaluable blessing to our world. God is an inexhaustible source of all good. He is the primal fount of all mercies. He is not only the Quickener of life, but the Giver and the Sustainer of it. Divine supplies and human wants are balanced. How loving the hand that adapts the blessings to our wants. How numerous they are. Can you reckon them? Life, health, food, raiment, peace, homes, relatives, friends, money, honour, and seasons of innocent pleasure; verily, our life is an endless history of Divine bounties. God gives these blessings to all without distinction. How loudly this calls for our gratitude. But He gives infinitely more to those that love Him, delight in His statutes, and frequent His sanctuary to adore and praise Him. To them He is a sun and shield. As the sun is everything to the earth, so God is to His people — He is their All.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.