Familiarity breeds contempt. A close association with something or someone results in the loss of value, or respect for it, or them.
One of the saddest things to me 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 initially with good intentions. But with the familiarity and popularity of the activity, many seem to have forgotten the truths behind these verses they share.
One such bible verse that has been bashed around and forgotten is Psalm 119:105. If you checked the verse below to find out which verse it is, don’t feel bad. We know the verse, but perhaps not the context, which is probably why, just recently, someone in my circle called this verse the “light-lamp thingy verse.”
The psalmist is expressing an appreciation for the Word, which is what much of 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.
Many of us have received the “light of the world” so as to “never walk in darkness” (John 8:12). We “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 for the feet, 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 given by the lamp 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.” (Prov 6:23)
He has 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.
When last have you picked up the lamp and shed some light on your path?
Why not, in this week, examine the context of some of your favorite verses to 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.