Arise, shine; for your light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen on you.…
Our first response to God is the reception of his light; but the second is the giving forth of that light. We read this truth and duty in its Christian phases, and urge it by the use of Christian persuasions. Our Lord made very much of the connection between knowing and doing, profession and practice. His disciples must be salt, that savours something or somebody; light, that shines forth on somebody. See the parables of the ten talents, the husbandmen, the sower and the seed, and the barren fig-tree. God always looks for fitting signs and expressions wherever there is life. See the direct teachings of Christ. "He that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them;" "He that doeth the will... the same is my brother;" "Yea, blessed are they that hear the Word, and do it." This union of doing with professing is necessary:
1. To satisfy us of the reality of our own piety. Illustrate from the seed - if there is life in it, that life will show itself to the light. Men expect to see religion influencing conduct. We expect this in others. Others expect it in us. They look for our shining if we profess to have received God's light. No excellence of creed can excuse unsubdued tempers, unrestrained habits, indifference to the welfare of others, and silence concerning what we have tasted and handled and felt of the Word of life. We must test ourselves if we would be assured of our own vitality. No breath, no life. No shining, no light.
2. To prove the truth of Christianity. It makes great pretensions. How shall it support and prove them? Only by living examples. Experiment tests everything, and constantly fresh experiments are needed. After all argument and evidence are exhausted, we ought to be able to say, "See what Christianity has done: the demon-possessed, the blind, the lame, the drunken, the strong-tempered, the selfish, are changed, and now they shine." Then, if we would offer to the men around us the best plea for Christianity, we must just shine. "Arise, shine; for thy light is come."
3. To extend the work of the Light-bringer, the Redeemer. Christian living is the supreme persuasion. Men may resist eloquence, reasoning, force, - they cannot resist the power of godliness; it is like the influence of leaven; it is like the testimony of the dawning day, which men must heed. Jerusalem of old - Jerusalem spiritualized as the modern Church - may well be bidden to "put on the beautiful garments" of godly living, and "arise and shine." - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.