Shining some light on the doctrine of Illumination (pt. 3)

pt. 1

pt. 2

The Source of Illumination

If the starting point of the doctrine of illumination is man’s desperate need (see yesterday’s post), then the second point has to be that God is the source of illumination.  In Psalm 119 the psalmist consistently recognizes this point.  For instance, the psalmist consistently highlights God’s role as the teacher of man.  For instance, in verse 12, the psalmist says,

Blessed are You, O LORD: Teach me Your statutes.

This is the psalmist repeated plea, and it makes it clear that God is the source of illumination.  He is the answer to man’s desperate need.  Although it is not unfolded in this chapter, the rest of Scripture teaches that illumination is specifically the role of the Holy Spirit.  As 1 Corinthians 2:12 puts its,

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God.

Furthermore, in Psalm119:102 the psalmist emphatically identifies God as the source of illumination when he says,

You Yourself have taught me.

With this verse the psalmist makes it absolutely clear that God is the illuminator.  In fact, the psalmist uses language that is similar to the language of Exodus 4:12.  There YHWH says to Moses,

Now then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth and teach you what you are to say.

In this passage we see God as the divine teacher and the illuminator to Moses.

With respect to the doctrine of illumination, God is the source of illumination.  Time after time in Psalm 119 the psalmist turns to God and prays for understanding, and prays to be taught by God.  This point of emphasis is completely consistent with what the rest of Scripture teaches about illumination, and it should compel all of God’s people to turn to God for understanding.

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