Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible, with many gems in its content. I’ve been challenged to memorize the chapter if possible, and while I’ve never tried, there are some verses in this chapter that doesn’t need extra effort on our part to remember. This is one of them, often a verse found incorporated in hymns and gospel songs alike, with a description of God’s word to which many of us can probably relate to. Lamp to our feet, light for our path.
The same idea is presented in both analogies – that of the word being the light to us who are in the dark, being our hope, being our guide, opening our eyes. From this we can make several conclusions – a man who values the word of God is walking on the right path. A man who doesn’t value the word of God is walking blindedly, akin to walking in the dark without light – even if you take the wrong turn, you wouldn’t know, and you’re extremely liable to banging your head against the wall at some point. You try your best to get your eyes accoustomed to the dark, and you flail your arms about you to try and grope something as an assurance, but without God’s word, without the light, you’ll forever be lost in that darkness.
Some time ago I came across a blog post on the Google Map of Life, and the author mentioned God’s words are like our GPS, but we often ignore the instructions and avoid that left turn to Suffering, take the longer way just so we can go pass Sin. I don’t remember where I read this on – it’ll take some time for me to search that out again, but I will at some point. But it’s the same idea here. We know that God’s words can keep us from going astray. But so what if we know that, if we still insist on ignoring his precepts, if we insist on going on our own ways? The GPS will come in handy if we are lost, if we need help, if we are desperate. But in good times, in blessed times, in happier times – when we are already so familiar with the path, or when we think we know the place because we’ve been there once or twice, can we still follow that instruction that seems to call us to a longer and more frustrating route?
Psalm 119:105 gives great hope – a world without light is scary. It’s dangerous. It’s hard to imagine. Jesus said, I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life [John 8:12]. Jesus is that light in a dark world. Jesus is that light that, when you see it, when you find it, you’ll often release a sigh of relief. The light that offers relief and hope. For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life [Proverbs 6:23]. We know God’s word is the light. It gives hope. It provides us with clarity. It saves us. We know that, it is mentioned again and again in the Bible, whether with the analogy of a light or not. But the question is, why do we insist on staying in darkness by not following God’s words? We often don’t realise the enormity of our actions – but just that one act of defiance against God is akin to us kicking away that lamp at our feet in a pitch dark scenario. Craziness. Why would we do that? With a bit more self-awareness, with a bit more alertness, and with a lot more faith, let’s hold on, no, let’s cling on tightly to God’s words. Let’s cling on tightly to that lamp.