I love words. But words truly pale in comparison to The Word. However, words in The Word, together, are a beautiful thing.
When I first thought about doing this project, before I had even decided to study Psalms, this verse came to mind – a theme verse of sorts.
This verse is packed with words; Words that separately hold alot of meaning and together mean a whole lot more.
Word. Lamp. Feet. Light. Path.
John 1:1-2 says, “In the beginning there was the Word. The Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.”
Words are used in many ways – they can weave stories, they can encourage, they can hurt, they can enlighten, they can deceive … but at the end of the day, they are just words. But what about ‘ The Word ‘ ? The Word is living, breathing, and full of life. The Word is not man-made … The Word was God. What the Word was then, the Word is today, and the Word will be tommorow and forever.
2 Samuel 22:29 says, “For You are my lamp, O Lord; The Lord shall enlighten my darkness.”
At Training Camp for The World Race we were given Tiki Torch Lamps the first night, these lamps were the only things we had to provide light in the darkness. As the path became more narrow and more challenging, the lamp burned the same. These lamps didn’t light everything around, there was still plenty we could not see, but as we continued, the path before us remained lit. The Lord is my lamp and He knows what I need to see, when I need to see it, and He will remain with me, lighting the path I should take.
Isaiah 52:7 says, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!'”
Maybe it’s just me but I wouldn’t identify feet as beautiful, but God does. Especially here in Isaiah, where these are the feet of someone running from battle, running to declare the battle has been won. Back then literal battles were being won and shared about; however, for us, we are fighting in a Spiritual Battle, and how beautiful are our feet when we can run, proclaiming the enemy has been defeated.
Matthew 5:14-16 says, “You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand – shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” (MSG)
Naturally, our lives are not characterized by light… rather by darkness, but we are called to be light. We can not be light in our own power, nor can we have “inherent light, rather we have reflective light. As we behold the glory of the Lord, we reflect it. Therefore, we need to make sure that nothing comes between us and the Lord’s light.” This light is seen in us by others as we live our lives as Jesus, the light of the world.
Psalms 16:11 says, “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
The path of life is a sticky subject, because our American way of life and success is not defined in the sae way as life in Christ is, the paths to these two lives look very different. In Matthew we are told, “Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life – to God! – is vigorous and requires total attention.” (Matthew 7:13-14, MSG) This isn’t the easy path that we are called to follow, but in the end, this is the only path that leads to eternal life at the right hand of the Father.
So what do all these words mean when they are put together?
The flow of this verse begins with the Word because His Word is where it all began and where our relationship begins with Him – because in His Word we learn of our sin and our need for Him and the grace He extends to us as our Savior. This begins our relationship because in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with Him, then upon receving the Word, His Word has become a lamp, lighting the way that was formerly clouded in darkness. As the lamp guides our steps, we see our feet moving forward in our relationship with Him. Feet that proclaim that the Word in us, the Word that we are saved by grace , is a message that we can boldly proclaim. A message of Good News brought by beautiful feet. At this time the verse shifts from the Word to the impact of the Word on our life. We proclaim the Good News that the Word in us is the enemy defeated. In this defeat, the darkness is driven out, and the light floods in. The light is the Word in us, the Word lived out in our actions. The light that reflects Christ in our life so that others may too experience this light. The light that begins in the Word, the Word that then infiltrates every pore of our being, so that we have no choice but to be the light found in the Word to others. This light then directs the path that we follow, the path laid out in the Word; The Word that is in us… The Word that was, is, and will be God forevermore. Amen.