Reading: Psalm 119
Your word is a lamp for my feet,
a light on my path.
I have taken an oath and confirmed it,
that I will follow your righteous laws.
I have suffered much;
preserve my life, LORD, according to your word.
Accept, LORD, the willing praise of my mouth,
and teach me your laws.
Though I constantly take my life in my hands,
I will not forget your law.
The wicked have set a snare for me,
but I have not strayed from your precepts.
Your statutes are my heritage forever;
they are the joy of my heart.
My heart is set on keeping your decrees
to the very end (NIV).*
Some stories that you read are memorable. They stick with you. You identify with the character or the event, and as a result, on a certain level their experience becomes your own.
Several years back, I read a story in Guideposts Magazine about a boy in Florida who went rambling through a field on his grandparents’ farm. On this adventurous excursion, he jumped across an irrigation ditch only to land on a deadly snake—a water moccasin—which instantly bit him. It was only through the miraculous intervention of God that this young fellow made it back to the farm house and survived. In this situation the old proverb, look before you leap, definitely applied.
We too are pilgrims traveling through a field—a dark and dangerous world. That’s why we need the light of God’s word. The psalmist says it best. Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
We need a light—the light of God’s word—on our path because there are venomous snakes in the grass. Actually, the psalmist uses a different analogy; he speaks of snares. But the net result is the same. On this path we are walking, our very life is in grave danger. We must see clearly to avoid disaster. The wicked have set a snare for me, but I have not strayed from your precepts.
We need to know the precepts—the principles of God’s word—if we are going to walk in His ways. This goes beyond a fixed set of rules. It involves an understanding of the reason for God’s commands. For this we need the Spirit and the mind of Christ. We are not just walking to avoid pitfalls; we are walking toward a goal. That goal is Christ Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2, NKJV).
Response: LORD God, shine the light of your word on the path of life you have ordained for me to walk. I am not on this path by accident, but through your will and purpose. Guide me home. Amen.
Your Turn: Have you encountered snares or snakes in the grass? Are you on the right path?
* New International Version, Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica
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