Light from the Word

"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." (Psalm 119:105)

One of the more beautiful metaphors in the Bible, "light" is used either metaphorically or literally to stress understanding, knowledge, or truth. When inaccurate interpretations of God's Word are taught, Isaiah said it is "because there is no light in them" (Isaiah 8:20). Peter noted that prophetic insight is like "light that shineth in a dark place" (2 Peter 1:19).

One of the Lord's most memorable statements was: "I am the light of the world" (John 8:12). Little wonder, then, that in this majestic psalm centering on the Word of God, this stanza (Psalm 119:105-112) acknowledges the role executed by the Scriptures "as the light that goeth forth" (Hosea 6:5).

The psalmist again mentioned his affliction (v. 107) and that his soul was constantly "in my hand" (Psalm 119:107, a Hebrew idiom for constant danger; see 1 Samuel 28:21). But nonetheless, his instant reaction was to focus on the "righteous judgments" of God and a promise to "not forget thy law" (Psalm 119:109). He begged for the Lord to teach him God's "judgments" (v. 108) and promised not to err "from thy precepts" (v. 110).

Thus, woven throughout the stanza are the constant paradoxical tensions of supplication for relief from the wicked efforts to "snare" him (see 2 Timothy 2:26) and the confidence that whatever conditions may develop, the written Word of God would provide answers. Those words are "the rejoicing" of his heart (119:111), much like when David sang, "Let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD" (Psalm 105:3).

Finally, in the last line of this stanza, the psalmist challenged us embrace his own commitment to the Word of God as he wrote, "I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end" (Psalm 119:112). HMM III

Series: 
Delight in God's Word
Book: 
Psalms
Verses: 
119:105
Article Type: 
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