You know one of the really amazing things about the Bible?
We can understand so much of what it says just by reading the words and taking them at face value.
“Your Word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.”
It doesn’t take much work to put it into context. It’s simple. We get it. It’s a lovely metaphor of truth.
But then our Heavenly Father takes us on a treasure hunt and invites us to dig deeper, and the Holy Spirit illuminates truths we didn’t even know to look for!
I’ve had this verse memorized since I was a small child. It’s part of my heritage, my culture, my spiritual DNA. We even sang a song about it. A lot.
And this is how it was always described: life may be dark, the path dangerous, but if we carry God’s Word in our hearts, our lives, then just like a lamp or a flashlight will give light to the path in front of us, each step will be lit just enough for the next step after that.
I always thought of a primitive candle, or a flashlight at best, and imagined how very little of the path would be lit up. Only enough for the step in front of me. And the next. And the next. Nothing beyond that. Not seeing anything around me. Darkness everywhere but on the very path directly in front of my feet… just enough to keep me from stumbling. Just enough to know where the next step should be.
But what if it means more than that?
Now I’m getting excited… are you ready? Get your spiritual shovels, dear ones, you won’t want to miss this!
Let’s start with “Your word.” The Hebrew term for this phrase comes from the transliteration dabar, which means speech, word and has a long list of meanings relating to communication. For the sake of time, I will focus on just these few: advice, commands, counsel, instruction, promise, speech, songs, thoughts, words, book, etc. And when used in this verse, it refers to the Word of God, Divine communication.
“…a lamp to my feet…”
Lamp is just that, a light. But the word for feet is another part of the treasure. It comes from the Hebrew word regel which means feet, footsteps, journey, be able to endure.
“… and a light…”
Here we go, this is the most exhilarating part to me! The word used here means: light, broad, dawn, daylight, lightening, sun, sunlight, sunshine. It is also used to refer to: light of lamp, light of life, light of prosperity (see here), light of instruction, light of face (specifically, God’s face, His shining, enlightening, favoring face); light and salvation; light to guide; everlasting Light of Zion. Also “luminary (in every sense, including lightning, happiness, etc (see here).”
Oh. My. Goodness. Do you see it, too?
God’s Word, His communication with us, isn’t just a candle or even a flashlight. It’s broad daylight! Lighting up the darkness around us. Clear as day. He is our bright Light guiding us, saving us, and even bringing us happiness!
Next time you read Psalm 119:105, perhaps you will want to remember it like this:
Yahweh, Your advice and commands, Your counsel and instruction, Your promises to me and Your thoughts about me, the songs You sing over me, the words You speak into my heart and wrote in Your Book, these keep me going on my journey. Because of You, my endurance is sure. Your Divine communication to me is like broad daylight, bright as the sun, warm and inviting as the sunshine. Or like lightening in the dark which lights up the sky as if it were day… electrical, transforming, spectacular, powerful. You confirm Your Word of promise by doing all of this, and so much more. And I am filled with irrepressible joy which comes from knowing Your favor and protection of my soul… to finish that which you began in me (see Philippians 1:6).