Recently I was in a group of believers and we were talking about God’s Word and our favorite verses.  One person said: “I quite like that light-lamp thingy verse in the bible, it has got to be one of my favorite!”  When I asked her where it was in the bible, she could not answer.

I tell the story to point out that one of the saddest things in Christian circles is a familiarity with bible verses.  People post bible verses on social media, put verses on their walls, write them in birthday cards, all done with good intentions.  But with the familiarity and popularity of the activity, many seem to have forgotten the truths behind these verses they share, or even noticed where they are in the bible.

Familiarity breeds contempt. 

Which means a close association with something or someone results in the loss of value, or respect for it, or them.  This bible verse she was talking about was Psalm 119:105.  We know the verse, but perhaps not the context and context is important when it comes to taking a single verse out of scripture.

ps119v105They word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)

The psalmist is expressing an appreciation for the Word, which is what Psalm 119 is about (not a popular psalm to read).  It is interesting that he refers to the word in terms of a lamp, since the only time you need one is when you are in the dark.  We live in a dark world, in which one can miss your path and get lost in the dark.

We all need light on our spiritual walk through life.

Many of us have received the “light of the world” so as to “never walk in darkness” (John 8:12).  But may I suggest that many of us “received the light” (Heb 10:32) at the start of our journey, only to abandon the lamp for the rest of our path.

The lamp is used for where you are walking and standing right now.  

How often we fail to get into the word for our current circumstances, where we find ourselves now.  We tend to leave it for Sundays, or for other people to look into and tell us about it.  Then we wonder why we feel like we are walking in darkness.

And if a lamp lights up where your feet are right now…

The light it shines shows you the path forward.

  • You don’t trip over roots, bash into obstacles or fall into holes.
  • You are able to see small deviations from the path that leads to byways not planned for your life.
  • You have a sense of confidence as you walk with the lamp, because you can see where you are going and you feel safe and sure-footed.
  • The lamp does not light the whole path to the end of the journey, it only lights up the path immediately in front of you.
  • The trust that you have in the light, is what causes you to carry the lamp along with you, having proven itself to light the way correctly.

So too, trust in the word of God is learnt – as you apply it to your life.

The psalmist says in the next verse:

“I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws.”  He has realized that “these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life.” (Proverbs 6:23)

The psalmist has also resolved to carry the lamp with him in his journey through life;

“My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end.”(Psalm 119:112)  He is convinced that “according to your word,” the Lord will “preserve my life.” (Psalm 119:107).

The security of his life, is in the Word.

2Sam22v29The context of the verse tells us so much more about the lamp and how to apply it to our life. When you quote a bible verse, do you make a point of carrying that “lamp” with you? Or is it something you share on Facebook; Twitter; Pinterest or Instagram just to have something nice to share. Is there value in the Words you share for your personal life?

Why not, in this week, list 10 favorite bible verses and examine the context of those verses you quote in the bible?

Lord, may your Word be the most precious thing I possess, the joy and delight of my heart.  May I not only read it, but apply it to my life and do what it says.  I confess that I regularly neglect your lamp in my life, help me to fan it into flame, so that it is real and relevant to my life.  Thank you for your light in my heart and the provision of a light for my path.  Help me to set my heart’s compass according to your word until the very end.

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