Light is a word found in the Bible 272 times from the first chapter of the Bible, Genesis chapter 1 to the last chapter in the Bible, Revelation chapter 22.
When we look at this occurrence, it is in the longest Psalm in the Bible and this verse has 2 parts to it. The first part is: Thy word is a lamp unto my feet. This is interesting as what does this even me that thy word can be like a lamp unto my feet.
The way I have interpreted this is the word of God, which would include instruction, guidance and God’s plans are used here in this metaphor as a way we can see our feet. What this means is that the word of God has the ability to allow us to see to our feet, where we are then able to have a starting point on a journey. The language used here makes us think that we are in darkness and the world can often be seen as a dark place without God but with the word of God, there is hope and the perfect guide.
The second part of this verse reads: and a light unto my path.
Once we can see our feet, the word of God is also a light to our path, where God knows the best way that we should be going. The language used here is one of a personal relationship between the individual and God. God in this verse can be likened to a tour guide in a dark place, that shows the way to go. The analogy can continue as the tour guide wants you to continue along the path and not to stumble on it or deviate from the path, even though we have a choice what path we walk on in our life.
This verse in Psalm 119, can be likened to the following Proverb:
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his stepsProverbs 16:9 ESV
We can choose wheresoever we go but the Lord allows this to happen. Using the guide analogy, we can link this with the Lord Jesus Christ, who describes himself as the “light of the world” in John chapter 8. This is interesting as we have the illumination aspect in Psalm 119, but the Lord Jesus made this manifest by declaring He was the light of the world.
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”John 8:12 ESV
This is not a new theme to describe Jesus and he was described in this way earlier in John chapter 1, where John states his purpose in this book to believers about being a witness to this light, Jesus. Jesus was to be a light to everyone but not everyone received him.
He [John the Baptist] was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.John 1:8-13 ESV
Looking at the last section in John chapter 1, those who receive Jesus can become children of God and God guides them along the path. If we choose to be children of God, we need to follow God, our Father; likened to a child-parent relationship. We must strive to approach God through prayer as we have been given this privilege as we continue along the lightened path. The amazing time at the end of the path will be the Kingdom age, where we will be able to have everlasting happiness, life and peace; a free gift offered to all people.
Article by Matthew.
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