Before our eyes are opened and we turn to Christ by faith, we all walk in darkness. I think most of us are aware of the darkness all around us. We can see it in the immorality of the world, the greed and hatred that dwells in the hearts of some people, the insensitivity and cruelty of some toward their fellow man, and the results of sin in our fallen world. The good news is that when God opens our eyes and sanctifies us by faith, He gives us a light to guide us through the darkness -- His Word. The psalmist expresses his love and commitment to that light in this portion of Psalm 119.
105 Your word is a lamp to guide my feet
and a light to my path.
106 I have sworn an oath and confirmed it,
to observe your righteous ordinances.
107 I am cruelly afflicted;
give me life, O Lord, according to your word.
108 Accept my offerings of praise, O Lord,
and teach me your ordinances.
109 I hold my life in my hand continually,
but I do not forget your law.
110 The wicked have laid a snare for me,
but I do not stray from your precepts.
111 Your decrees are my heritage forever;
they are the joy of my heart.
112 I incline my heart to perform your statutes;
forever, to the end.
The psalmist shows us that as Christians there is no need for us to stumble in the darkness. God has given us His word as a lamp to light the path as we sojourn in this dark world. We see in this passage that the psalmist has tested this light and found it true and reliable. He makes six important points to show the power of God’s word as a lamp to illumine our path.
- He has tested God’s word by obeying it. By making a commitment to observe God’s regulations for living (His righteous ordinances, 119:106), the psalmist has confirmed the light giving power of His word.
- The psalmist has come to fully rely upon God’s word. When he has been afflicted God’s word has given him life (119:107). It has raised him up to offer praise. It has given him the desire to learn all of God’s righteous ordinances (119:108).
- His life is filled with danger and uncertainty every day, but he finds security in remembering God’s law (119:109).
- When surrounded by the wicked and confronted with trials and temptations, he finds safety in clinging to God’s word and obeying His precepts. (Precepts, 119:110, is a poetical word for “commands”).
- God’s word has become the joy of [his] heart. God’s decrees have become a part of his life forever (119:111)!
- The psalmist has tried and tested the word of God as the lamp to his feet and the light to his path and he is fully committed. His request is to have a heart that leans on God’s law to the end (119:112), a heart that is faithful forever.
Have you tried leaning on God’s Word as you walk through the darkness of this world? When you’re anxious, do you go to the light of His Word to quiet your heart? When you’re grieving or depressed, do you go to the light for support? When you’re afraid, do you take refuge in the light? When you’re tempted, do you find your encouragement in the light? When friends forsake you, do you turn to the light? When times are darkest, do you remember to go to God’s Word? Do you turn to the light? As a believer, the Word of God is your heritage,it is a reward that never fails, and it should be the joy of your heart. When was the last time you sat down and read it, cherished it, and then went out and obeyed it? Will you encourage yourself to walk in the light of God’s Word by taking time today to taste the joy the psalmist wrote about in this passage of Psalm 119?
In one of his sermons, Charles Haddon Spurgeon gave the following encouragement to constantly let the Word of God light your way.
“Let us live constantly in the presence of the Lord, and it will breed in our hearts a restfulness such as nothing else can. The Holy Spirit acts as a Comforter through the Word with influences which calm the tempests of the soul.
Nothing is a stumbling block to the man who has the Word of God dwelling in him richly. He takes up his daily cross, and it becomes a delight. He is prepared for the fiery trial and does not count it not strange, so as to be utterly cast down by it. He is neither stumbled by prosperity — as so many are — nor crushed by adversity — as others have been — for he lives beyond the changing circumstances of external life.”