A premise and a promise in the same verse! “Your word is a lamp to my feet “ (Psalm 119:105 a). The lamp here is one of those little bowls that nowadays would have a candle standing in it, but in biblical times was half filled with oil and a wick hanging down soaking the oil that feeds the flame. In the context of this line, its limited circle of light is ideal for ensuring that our feet are on solid ground.
Divine truth is designed by God to help us ensure that our entire life, and the belief structure upon which we stand is solid. The word of God is a lamp to our feet. There are truths to rest on and truths to fight with. There are divine statements that are spoken to us by God to give us forgiveness, peace and an inner tranquillity. Those truths are the premise for our overall inner status of life. There is a rest of faith, and there is a fight of faith. Many fight on stuff that they should be resting and rest on stuff we should be fighting. We are supposed to rest on the facts of being justified by faith, without condemnation and have the very presence of Christ with us wherever we go. Many Christians fight over such issues as if it was an uncertain speculation. We are encouraged to withstand the devil, sickness, lack of forgiveness and worldly ungodly lifestyle. Sadly too many of us relax on these issues which should be the very battleground upon which we become overcomers. “By this we overcome, even our faith.”
We have the light of God’s truth as the very ground upon which we stand. This premise for faith is, to change the analogy, the platform from which we leap into battle for the kingdom’s sake.
These rock like positions that we stand on are seemingly static truths. The deepest rocks on which the Christian stands are those statements that the revelation of the Bible gives us concerning the character of God, His goals and His purposes. Moses knew the works of God – and that is excellent – but he wanted to know His ways. To know the way God thinks and acts, and the motives with which He does things we become founded on the immoveable rock of Jesus Christ Himself. By imbibing such divine motives, rationale and philosophy, we renew our minds and have roots that stretch deeper and deeper into God’s character, in turn making us more immoveable in the storms of life.
Yes indeed, “Your word is a lamp to my feet.” But that is only half the story.
“Your word is … a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105b) The word here is a bigger light. It is a brighter and more comprehensive light. This light is not just encircling the area upon which we stand, but the whole vista of life and the will of God before us. The will of God is a vast field to explore, not a tightrope upon which we are neurotically afraid to fall off. This light is even used of sunshine and daylight. In the darkness and depravity of the world, the word of God is a light to our path. We need to know that our feet are on the rock, but we desperately need to know where on this rock we need to adventure, and battle and forage in the kingdom of God.
The Christian does not only have truth to stand on, but truth to walk with. We do not only have a place to be at peace with, but on the basis of the peace we have, we have a pathway to hack out through the jungle of life.
This premise and promise in the same verse shows how God has armed us with all we need to move forward. The premises of faith and the promises of faith are conjoined twins that essential for Christ like living. Even the Master Himself had the scriptures that told Him who He was. The knowing of who He was embodied the rock where His feet stood facilitating the awesomeness of the pathway in which He was to walk.
We shouldn’t restrict our activities to a walk only. I know we are talking in analogy and parable here, but in the same spirit we need to observe that life sometimes demands a break neck sprint, and at times we need to pace ourselves for a slow marathon, or even a stroll.
Life has many seasons of day and night, winter and summer, peace and strife, spring and autumn, but all need to be engaged with having our feet standing in the light and our pathway flooded with light.
Light needs to switched on. The switch is in the meditation of the word and the chewing of the cud of whatever green grass we can get our teeth into. The milk of the word is not to be belittled. To the baby that needs the milk, it does more good that roast beef would at that time. Milk or meat, shallow or deep, pond or ocean, just chew on whatever your teeth get into, and don’t let go until the plate is clean and the juice has dried up. If the butcher’s shop is empty, the grocer will supply.