Text: Psalm 119:105-112
God has given us a light in this darkened world. It is the Bible. He has given us His word to not only make sense of this life, but to reveal to us who He is, how much He loves us, and how to face struggles and heartache with joy and peace.
The psalmist, which is likely David, is rejoicing in that very fact. In the midst of darkness and trials, God’s word is a light that reveals truth and gives hope.
Three truths about God’s word are revealed in these verses – three truths that remind us why we can trust the Bible, especially in our times of suffering…
1. God’s Word is a light that gives direction and guidance. (vv. 105-106)
A lamp in biblical times would be a small piece of pottery that could hold oil and would have a small wick at the top. It would provide just enough light for a small area, right where you are. If you’re traveling at night, you needed to take a lamp with you so you could stay on the path.
God’s word is a lamp to my feet, showing me where I am, reminding me of who I am in Christ, reminding me not to worry about tomorrow because He has already provided the grace I need for today.
And at the same time, David also says God’s word is a “light to my path”. The word “light” here means daylight, the sunshine that illuminates everything around you so that you not only see where you are, but you can also see where you’re going. Many promises in the Bible are just that – a light that reminds us not just where we are today, but where God is leading us, and what is waiting for us when this life is over. When all we can see are our problems, the Bible reminds us this is not our home. We have a better home that awaits.
God’s Word is your lamp and your light. In the darkness or in the day, in good times or in bad, Scripture gives us direction and guidance for our lives.
2. God’s Word is a comfort in times of suffering. (vv. 107-110)
Just like God’s word is a light to our path, Scripture also helps us see the big picture concerning my suffering, that my trial right now is not some isolated accident. It’s part of God’s grand plan to grow me and sanctify me, using this trial, using this suffering to cause me to depend on Him more, to trust Him more. To show me my own weakness so that I can see His strength.
And the main comfort that God’s word brings to us in our suffering is not a promise of rescue, but a deeper awareness of His love for us even in the midst of our suffering. To know that even when things are not going the way I want them to right now, that Jesus is enough. His word is my comfort because I know that He loves me.
Because the light of God’s word has shined upon his heart, the psalmist is not afraid of breaking covenant with God. “But I do not forget your law.” Most of the confusion we face as Christians, most of the fear and anxiety and frustration comes when we forget what God’s word says. We start believing what we feel or what others tell us or what the enemy is whispering in our ears. But to remember God’s word, to know I am His and He is sovereign over my circumstance, to know that the Jesus who saved me is the Jesus who keeps me, that gives me strength and hope and assurance in the most difficult trial.
3. God’s Word gives us a joy that never fades. (vv. 111-112)
Just as a witness testifies in a court of law to what they have seen first-hand. To speak of God’s “testimonies” is to celebrate what I have seen and know to be true of God. What I know to be true – from what God says of Himself in His Word, and what I know personally from experiencing first hand the goodness and mercy of God in my own life.
Just as God promised Abraham a heritage and an offspring that through them the nations would be blessed, God has promised every one of His children an inheritance. That inheritance is not a piece of land or law written on stone tablets. Through Jesus, He has written His law on our hearts. He has written our names in His hands. Our heritage, our inheritance, is God Himself. He is the gift. He is the blessing. He is the treasure. He is the joy of our hearts.
That’s why the psalmist says in v. 112 that he will incline his heart to God to follow His Word until the end. God turns our hearts, and in response, we continually aim our hearts and our affections toward God by being in His Word. And this is not for a temporary period of time – when I’m in trouble, or when I’m needing a prayer answered. The psalmist is holding to God’s promises and finding joy in His Word at all times. “To the end”.
We can go to the pages of Scripture and find light for our paths, comfort in our suffering and joy that never fades, because we’re not just holding to promises. Jesus is holding on to us. Jesus is our inheritance. Jesus is our joy. He is the joy that never fades. The joy that no trial can diminish, and no enemy can steal.