September 23, 2021 3 min read

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

Psalm 119:105, NIV

Lord our God, we stand before your presence. Look in mercy upon us poor, weak children, who do not know where to turn unless you help us with your mighty hand. We trust in you. You will help us, you will always be with us, and even in hard times you will accomplish your will for what is good. Bless us today as we gather to hear your Word. May your Word always be our strength and joy. Your Word gives victory in us and in the whole world so that your will may be done on earth as in heaven. Amen.

The context of the words of Psalm 119:105, NIV

Psalm 119 is arranged in an acrostic pattern. There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet, and this psalm contains 22 units of 8 verses each. Each of the 22 sections is given a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and each line in that section begins with that letter.

Psalm 119:105 is the first verse in Section 14 - Nun נ: Never-ending confidence in God’s word. Psalm 119:105 - The illuminating guidance of God’s word.

Chapter Summary

Psalm 119 - The greatness and glory of God's word

Psalm 119 is the 119th psalm of the Book of Psalms, beginning in English in the King James Version: "Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord". The Book of Psalms is in the third section of the Hebrew Bible, the Khetuvim, and a book of the Christian Old Testament. The psalm is referred to in Hebrew by its opening words, "Ashrei temimei derech" ("happy are those whose way is perfect"). In the Greek Septuagint version of the Bible, and in its Latin translation Vulgate, this psalm is Psalm 118 in a slightly different numbering system. The psalm is a hymn psalm.

With 176 verses, the psalm is the longest psalm as well as the longest chapter in the Bible. It is an acrostic poem, in which each set of eight verses begins with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The theme of the verses is the prayer of one who delights in and lives by the Torah, the sacred law. Unlike most other psalms, the author did not include his name in the text. The psalm is a regular part of Jewish, Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican and other Protestant liturgies. It has been set to music often. British Politician William Wilberforce would recite the entire Psalm, while walking back from Parliament, through Hyde Park, to his home.

Meaning of the words

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path"

These pictures show us that the word of God is light and brings light; it doesn’t make things darker or harder to understand. It is a light book, not a dark book.

Not all parts of Scripture are equally clear or easy to understand; it is helpful to have wisdom from others in what they have seen in the Scriptures. Yet at its core, the Bible can be understood, and Christians do understand it. Think of all the common ground Christians, even of greatly different denominations, have together:

  • The truth of a Triune God.
  • The truth of the full deity and full humanity of Jesus.
  • The truth of our sin.
  • The truth of Jesus’ death for us to save us from sin and death.
  • The work of the Holy Spirit in leading us to faith.
  • The establishment of the church, the community of believers.
  • The return of Jesus Christ.
  • The resurrection of the dead.

Taken together, these are a lot! In general, Christians do agree in their understanding of the Bible.

This doesn’t mean that someone’s opinion on the meaning of a Bible passage is just as good as everyone else’s opinion. It is really just the opposite; the Bible is clear enough to be understood, and this means that some so-called understandings are wrong.

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