Light From the Word

I. The Word of God serves to illuminate our life decisions (Psalm 119:105)

A. The imagery of the “lamp” is strong in the Scriptures.

1. The Tabernacle and Temple held the seven lamps in the Holy Place.

a. Exodus 25:31, 35 -- And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold:... And thou shalt make the seven lamps thereof: and they shall light the lamps thereof, that they may give light over against it.
b. Exodus 30:7-8 -- And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it. And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the LORD throughout your generations.

2. The spiritual significance provides insight to these lamps.

a. Zechariah 4:2, 10 -- And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof:.... those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.
b. Revelation 4:5 -- And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
c. Revelation 5:6 -- And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

B. The “light” represents the presence, the holiness, the truth of God.

1. 1 Timothy 6:15-16 – “...the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;  Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen...”

2. John 8:12 -- Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

3. John 3:19-21 -- “...that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light....But he that doeth truth cometh to the light...”

4. 1 Thessalonians 5:5 -- Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

5. Note:  In Psalm 119:105 the Hebrew word for light is OWR, the word God chose to identify the “light” that was inserted into “darkness” on Day One of the creation week (Genesis 1:3-5).  This was before the “lights” (Hebrew, MA’OR – “light holders”) were made on Day Four.

II. The Word of God, as the “breathed out” message of God, is the “living light”

A. The Word is designed by God to guide us into holiness.

a. Isaiah 8:20 -- To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

b. 2 Peter 1:19 -- We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts

c. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 -- All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

d. 1 Peter 1:23 -- Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

B.  The Lord Jesus insisted that His twice-born were to be “lights.”

1. Matthew 5:14-16 -- Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

2. Philippians 2:15 -- That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world

3. Matthew 25:3-4,10 --They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps....they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

C. The New Testament speaks of the churches role in “light”.

1. 1 Timothy 3:15 -- But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

2. 1 Peter 2:5 -- Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

3. Revelation 1:11, 13, 20 -- What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches... I saw seven golden candlesticks... the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

D. The “precepts” and “lines” (Isaiah 28:9-10) scattered throughout the Scriptures helps us understand the role of the Word of God.

1. The early imagery of the seven branched candlestick in the Tabernacle with the seven lamps seems to represent the presence of the Holy Spirit.

2. The Book of Revelation equates the vision of Zechariah chapter 4 with the “seven spirits of God” and the “eyes of God.”

3. The “light” is often used in the New Testament to represent the presence of God and His Truth given to His children.

4. The Word of God is compared to the “light” from God designed to guide us into holy living.

5. The Lord Jesus insists that He is the “light” and that we are to be “light” and “children of the light” in the world.

6. The Lord Jesus is revealed to be “walking” among his “candlesticks” which are the “churches” of the Lord Jesus – houses of the “pillar and ground of the truth.”

E. Compilation -- the Holy Spirit’s presence and ministry is “inspired” in the “writings” of God, so that the twice-born children of God, sealed by the Holy Sprit, can live and testify of the “light” contained in the Word of God.  From heaven’s perspective, the children of God are “built” into a “spiritual house” that is to be the “pillar and ground” of the Truth.  As individual Christians, we are commanded to be “lights” and “children of the day” bearing witness to all around us.  Our life and our churches are guided by the words of God.  Thus as the Psalmist exclaims: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”

III. The Psalmist recognizes the conflict and tension resulting from his loyalty to the Word of God.

A. The conflict is very real and the consequences permanent.

1. Proverbs 4:18-19 -- But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

2. Isaiah 5:20 -- Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

B. The opposition of the wicked is an absolute given.

1. 2 Timothy 3:12 -- Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

2. John 15:20 -- The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you

C. The discipline of the Lord for His children is also a given.

1. Proverbs 6:23 -- For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life

2. Hebrews 12:11 -- Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

D. The steadfast success comes from our deep “promise” to obey.

1. The “oath” comes from our understanding of the purpose of God.

a. The “sevens” of Psalm 119:106 is a metaphor for an uncompromising oath.
b. Psalm 12:6-7 -- The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.
c. See also: Genesis 21:28-30; 29:18; Exodus 23:15; 29:30

2. The oath is to “keep” and “perform” the “righteous judgments” of God (Psalm 119:106)

a. We are to “guard” the words and “stand up” to do the words.
b. We are to be as committed in “performing” as the Lord Himself is to doing his “good word toward” us (Jeremiah 29:10)

IV. The Psalmist admits to the pressures of the conflict, but rests on the promises of God’s rescue and provision through His Word.

A. He acknowledges affliction from the wicked (Psalm 119:107)

1. James 5:10-11 -- Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure.

2. Some can not endure:  Mark 4:17 -- And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.

B. He feels vulnerable (Psalm 119:109)

1. Psalm 119:83 -- For I am become like a bottle in the smoke

2. Romans 8:36 -- For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

C. He knows that the wicked are trying to trap him (Psalm 119:110)

1. The Lord Jesus: Luke 20:23 -- But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt ye me?

2. 2 Corinthians 11:3 -- the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

D. He asks specifically for deliverance (Psalm 119:107-108)

1. “Quicken me...according to thy word”

2. “Accept...the freewill offerings of my mouth”

3. “Teach me thy judgments”

E. He amplifies his oath to keep God’s Word (Psalm 119:109-112)

1. “I do not forget thy law”

2. “I erred not from thy precepts”

3. “Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart”

4. “I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes always, even unto the end”

The Foundation for the Psalm -- Psalm 119:1-8

Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.  Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.  They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.

Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!  Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.

I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.  I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.

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