Thy Word

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I grew up near the gulf coast and I have always liked storms. When I’m at home, curled up in a chair with coffee in hand, a good thunderstorm is strangely relaxing. 

 However, I’ve recently moved to north Texas and the storms here are different. The hail and the wind and thunderous booms are often more anxiety inducing than enjoyable. 

Recently, a storm came through early in the morning before the sun came up and it was one of those scary ones. As we woke up to all the commotion outside, it happened. The power went out. Usually, it’s a quick off and then back on, the kind that resets all your clocks but you barely notice the power outage type. This time, the power stayed off. The relative darkness of the pre-dawn hours was now complete darkness. It was incredible to me because it had been a long time since I was in the dark…like, really dark. No light from the clock on my nightstand. No light from the streetlights filtering in through the drawn blinds. No back porch light and no bathroom light that my wife likes to leave on during the night. Just pure darkness. 

In that moment, I was desperate for light. 


The Bible talks a lot about darkness and even more so about light. 

Psalm 139:12 “Even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.”

Micah 7:8 “Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light.”

Psalm 18:28 “You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.”

Matthew 5:16 “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

John 1:5 “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”


The list goes on. It is perhaps the greatest metaphor for the spiritual life because we have all experienced the kind of darkness I described. We all have a desperate need for light each day to show us where to go, where to walk, and, in the light, there is safety and clarity. 


In Psalm 119, the longest book in all the Bible, the Psalmist devotes himself to speaking exclusively about God’s word. He refers to God’s word as the law of the Lord, His ways, precepts of the Lord, statutes of God, righteous rules, commandments of the Lord, rules, testimonies and wondrous works.


And then in verse, he uses light and darkness to describe the word of God:


“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”


There is such beauty in this statement from the Psalmist. The word of God is light in the darkness. It’s a lamp that illuminates the path we walk every day. Without it, we stumble around looking for flashlights in junk drawers in hopes of finding something to light our way. 

And the Psalmist doesn’t call our attention to the lamp of feelings and sentiment or the light of religious practice. He’s not referring to the torch of theological acumen or the flashlight of denominational affiliation.

Quite simply, the word of God lights up the darkness like nothing else could. The Spirit of God is revealing the word to us and lighting the darkness first within us and then all around us in a dark and stormy world. 


This song calls us to the word of God using the same words from the Psalmist in 119. When we feel afraid in the dark and think we may be lost, God’s word is the source of light that will light our path and lead us home. 


Are you walking in darkness and desperate for light? Commit yourself to time in the Word of God every day. Don’t walk in darkness without the lamp you desperately need. Read. Pray. Study. Mediate and ask the Spirit of God to make much of Christ as the Word lights your path.