“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105)
One of God’s purposes in giving us the Scriptures is so that they might guide and illuminate our daily lives. This lamplight is only available to those who bother to open their eyes. Those who live by the world’s standards have no desire to walk in the ways that please God. The Bible is a spiritual message from God to those who have been “quickened” by His Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:1).
“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14). The new birth is a must before anyone can understand the word of God. The glorious light of Scripture is as much use as sunlight to those in the grave.
This Heavenly light illuminated our soul when we heard of Christ. It brought us out of spiritual darkness into the light of salvation. “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Colossians 1:13). From that moment God’s lamplight has guided our feet along the “highway of holiness” (see Isaiah 35:8). It enlightened our darkened mind, “The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes” (Psalm 19:8). It has given us understanding of spiritual matters, “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Psalm 119:130). It has instructed us on how to walk, “For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life” (Proverbs 6:23). Each time we open the Bible we are switching on God’s lamp.
God’s word does give light to those who search its pages, but it is only productive in our lives as we put it into action. We cannot know how to live as Christians by watching the so-called ‘God Channel’ or reading books; instead it is by putting God’s word into practice. The main objective of the teaching and preaching ministry in the church is to encourage God’s people to read and study the Scriptures for themselves. “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me” (Acts 26:18). As John H. Sammis wrote in his hymn,
When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will,
He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
The only time God’s word cannot illuminate is when a person is determined to travel along the pathway of wickedness. “Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them” (Acts 28:25-27). Those who are in spiritual darkness are there because they refuse to open their eyes to the light, and they refuse to open their eyes because they love their sin, “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved” (John 3:19-20).
There are many Christians who are closing their eyes to God’s word too. Those who do so are headed for destruction. “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart” (Ephesians 4:17-18) … “What communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14). How sad it is if the only light we have in our lives is the darkness of the world. “But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness” (Matthew 6:23). If we have been redeemed, then we are meant to walk in the light of God’s word, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:9).
We are the people of God. Without God’s word we are lost in darkness. “Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness. We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noon day as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men” (Isaiah 59:9-10). The opposite ought to be true of us who realise the importance of God’s word in our daily lives. “For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness” (Psalm 18:28) … “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19). “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee” (Isaiah 60:1-2). Our nation and its people are lost in the darkness of sin; it is time for us to open the Scriptures and spread the light again.