James Nisbet Commentary - 1 Timothy 6:16 - 6:16

Online Resource Library

Commentary Index | Return to PrayerRequest.com | Download

James Nisbet Commentary - 1 Timothy 6:16 - 6:16

(Show All Books | Show All Chapters)

This Chapter Verse Commentaries:


‘Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto.’


The frequency with which ‘light’ is used in the Scriptures in connection with God cannot fail to have impressed every careful student. It is His creation (Gen_1:3), His gift (Psa_43:3), His garment (Psa_104:2), His dwelling-place (1Ti_6:16), His symbol in most, if not all, His manifestations of Himself (to Moses, Exo_3:2; to Israel, Exo_13:21; on the day of Pentecost, Act_2:3; to St. Paul, Act_9:3; to St. John, Rev_1:16, etc.), and His very essence (1Jn_1:5).

I. That there is a connection between life and light cannot be denied—a connection indeed so close that life without light is both rare and of a degraded type. God is light; and in Him we live, and move, and have our being.

II. God the source of all energy.—All other energies, physical and mental and even spiritual, are but transformations of light; so when we say, ‘God is light,’ we affirm Him to be the source of all the energy of the universe.

III. God’s covenant.—It is not without significance that when God first expressly covenanted with fallen man, in the person of Noah, the new head of the race, He chose the rainbow as the sign of the covenant—the rainbow which is not light in its compound unity, but in its Triune diversity, split up by the raindrops through which it glances. Thus it is only as the light of God’s ineffable deity passes through the falling tears of penitence that His Trinity is apprehended. Thus in saying that God is Light, if we do not prove, we must strikingly illustrate both the Trinity of His nature and the redemptive relation of that Trinity to ourselves.


‘There is a beautiful thought in one of the old mythologies, that the rainbow is the bridge over which the souls of the departed find their way into the unseen world; hardly less beautiful is this speculation of modern science, which affirms that the light of which the rainbow is the visible expression is in reality the bond between ourselves and the universe of spirits.