How sweet your words taste to me; they are sweeter than honey. Your commandments give me understanding; no wonder I hate every false way of life. Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.
— Psalm 119:103-105
The other day I found myself looking at a magazine ad for outdoor camping equipment. My eye spied a nifty Coleman battery-operated high intensity outdoor light. Now even though I don't camp at all, I wanted one. Why? Well, I suppose it could come in handy if I ever found myself out in the dark somewhere, or if the lights went out at our house or . . . you get the picture. It would light my way in the darkness and help get me to safety.
God speaks of His word as being like that. Sometimes we find ourselves walking in darkness, either by choice or by accident. There is a right way and a wrong way to go, and when you're in a dark place, a powerful light will help a lot.
In OT times people used small lamps to furnish artificial light. Ancient lamps were essentially small ceramic bowls that were customized during construction to have a "nose" on one edge. The purpose of this extension was to hold a wick. Wicks of cloth were laid in the "nose" and extended into the oil in the lamp's bowl. Then the wick would be lighted. The light produced was not brilliant but necessary for finding one's way. In this Psalm, the writer compares God's Word with a lamp. While the light from the Word does not blind the eyes, it does point the way for those seeking its light.
I don't know about you, but I've walked down some pretty dark paths in this life—especially before I met Jesus Christ. Little did I know at the time that God would light up my way if I would just ask Him. You see, the Bible tells us this about God, that not only is His word a light to our path but "God is light; and in him there is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:8). That means you can trust whatever He says.
E. Stanley Jones tells of a missionary who got lost in an African jungle with nothing around him but bush and a few cleared places. He found a native hut and asked the native if he could lead him out. The native said he could. "All right," said the missionary, "show me the way." The native said, "Walk." So they walked and hacked their way through unmarked jungle for more than an hour. The missionary got worried. "Are you quite sure this is the way? Where is the path?" The native said, "Bwana, in this place I am the path."
That's the way it is with God, my friends. We say, "God, show me the way." He says, "Walk." We say. "But I don't see the path." He says, "I am the path and the light of that path." — Maranatha!