Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
What is the Bible? If we’re honest, the Holy Bible can be a very intimidating book. Have you ever tried reading through it? If you got past Leviticus, congratulations! Keep going, it gets better.
In the past I have heard the Bible described with this little acronym: “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.” But that’s misleading in just about every single way. The Bible is complex, living, and active – anything but basic. It’s not just a list of rules and regulations – the majority of it is narrative, poetry, and letters. And it’s about how to live in the kingdom of heaven here and now, not just some document telling us how to escape the planet.
If we’re not careful, we can run into the trap of thinking the Old Testament was all about burdensome rules and religious requirements, while the New Testament was all about love and grace. But this isn’t how people thought of the Law of Moses. It wasn’t a burden, it was a joy. It wasn’t a chain and iron ball around your ankle holding you back, it was a guide to a life of freedom.
Psalm 119, the longest Psalm and the longest “chapter” in the Bible, is all about the beauty of Scripture. It’s an ode to God’s Words and commands. This verse in particular (popularized by the ‘90s worship song) reminds us God’s word is a lamp in the darkness, illuminating the path before us.
It reminds me of the quote from CS Lewis: “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” We must never mistake the Scriptures as an end in themselves. Jesus called out the Pharisees for this in John 5:39. The Scriptures point us to Jesus. The word of God guide us to the Word made Flesh. Paul talks about the Scriptures as a mentor or a tutor, wisely directing children into a broader understanding of the truth.
The Bible is God’s love letter to us. It’s the story of God among his people. It’s the front porch light left on for us, inviting us home on a dark night.