A Lamp and a Light

When was the last time you needed to use a flashlight?

I’m guessing your answer will include some variation of “dark” or “darkness”.

As a sinner living with other sinners in a fallen world, you encounter darkness every day. While you may experience Instagram-worthy, sunny day picnic lunches, the reality is that life is more of a midnight walk through the woods.

On any given day, you probably encounter more darkness than you do truth – both internally, and externally. So if you are going to move forward, to make your way without danger, and get to where you are meant to go, you need something to light your way.

No passage gets at this need and God’s provision better than Psalm 119:105 – “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

You need light for your marriage and your parenting. You need light for your job and your relationships with your neighbors. You need light for your struggles with desires and temptations.

You need light to help you deal with the unexpected. You need light to cope with new difficulties that emerge. You need light for when you have been sinned against. You need light to deal with weaknesses of the body and hardships of the heart.

You need light for those moments when you’re alone and overwhelmed. You need light for all those unknowns that will show up on your doorstep tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, and for the rest of your life.

It is hard to find a better description of Psalm 119:105 than what the great nineteenth century preacher, Charles Spurgeon, wrote about this verse.

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet. We are walkers through the city of this world, and we are often called to go out into its darkness; let us never venture there without the light giving word, lest we slip with our feet. Each man should use the word of God personally, practically, and habitually, that he may see his way and see what lies in it. When darkness settles down upon all around me, the word of the Lord, like a flaming torch, reveals my way. Having no fixed lamps in eastern towns, in old time each passenger carried a lantern with him that he might not fall into the open sewer, or stumble over the heaps of ordure which defiled the road. This is a true picture of our path through this dark world: we should not know the way, or how to walk in it, if Scripture, like a blazing flambeau, did not reveal it. One of the most practical benefits of Holy Writ is guidance in the acts of daily life: it is not sent to astound us with its brilliance, but to guide us by its instruction. It is true the head needs illumination, but even more the feet need direction, else head and feet may both fall into a ditch. Happy is the man who personally appropriates God’s word, and practically uses it as his comfort and counsellor,—a lamp to his own feet.” (Treasury of David)

You don’t need to bloody your nose and bruise your toes by bumping into trees and tripping over roots. And you don’t have to grope around fearfully in the darkness.

The Light of the World has graced you with the light of his Word! It will shine around your feet in the midst of the darkness so you need not stumble and fall.

By Paul Tripp

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