Your word [is] a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
Psalms 119:105 NKJV
A circumstance most of us have experienced is stumbling around in the dark looking for a light when the power suddenly goes out and you need to find a flashlight. Then of course, if you are like me and lucky enough to find one that works, your next step is trying to find a way to light up the house so you can see well enough to fix dinner or otherwise take care of the business at hand.
Last week I heard a song using this verse on an old CD that I hadn't played in years, and the first thought that popped into my head as I reflected on this verse was "why mention a light and a lamp"?
Seems redundant until you think about the circumstances in which you use both, and what they are intended to do. The more I thought about it, the more I was convinced that God's intention was to tell us that there are two ways to use His word to provide the light we need to shine for Him in the dark circumstances we so often find ourselves in.
First of all, a lamp is used to illuminate our immediate surroundings, and generally speaking, does not move. Since God says that His Word is a "lamp to my feet", a question we can all ask of ourselves is do we use the Word of God to see where we are, and then examine ourselves and especially the circumstances in which we find ourselves in order to determine if we are conforming to His expectations?
Examine yourselves [as to] whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?--unless indeed you are disqualified.
2 Corinthians 13:5 NKJV
Something I have had reason to notice is that the light in my bathroom at home is not the same as the light in the bathroom at work. Why? Because after getting ready for work in the morning, I often find when I look at myself in the mirror at work that I missed something while getting ready at home. You see, the light we choose to use to examine ourselves and our immediate circumstances must be the best and brightest we can find. According to God, as believers that light is the lamp of His Word. So my question is are we using the Bible to examine where we are and what we are doing, or are we using the world and others to determine what is "socially acceptable" behavior? God's Word is our lamp, not the world or MTV.
The second thing God tells us is that His Word is a "light to my path". So the difference between a lamp and a light is that the light is portable and can be taken with us as we move in order to see where we are going. When you start to think about what you are going to go or do, is your first thought to examine the path you intend to travel by the light of God's Word?
Let your eyes look straight ahead, And your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established.
Proverbs 4:25-26 NKJV
I personally think that one of the greatest inventions to come around in a long time is the little LED lights you can clip onto the brim of a hat. I enjoy duck hunting, and I can tell you from experience that when carrying a bag of decoys and a gun at four in the morning in the boondocks, the flashlight is most definitely your best friend. The best part about these lights is that since they are on your head facing forward, they light the path ahead wherever you turn and look. As we walk the paths of our daily lives, God tells us that in order to keep from stumbling, we need to use His Word as the light that tells us not only where to go, but what to avoid as well. The time to decide what path to take is before you put your feet in motion, not after. Use the Word of God as a flashlight to illuminate the path ahead so you can avoid taking a wrong turn and walking down the path of darkness Satan wants you to take.
The Bible is both a lamp and a light, showing us where we are, and where we are going. Are you stumbling around in the dark, or using the most important tool God has given us to find your way. As this world seems to be moving towards the darkness rather than the light, it seems obvious the Word of God is the most indispensable gift we have been given. Use it wisely.