By Chuck Griffin LifeTalk Editor
Let’s take a portion of a psalm familiar to many, Psalm 119:105-112, and meditate on it line-by-line for a few days. The first line is the basis of a well-known song, “Thy Word,” written by Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith. They were working from the King James Version; I think I will use one of my favorites, the New Living Translation. I pray the brief thoughts I have will trigger some thoughts of your own.
Your word is a lamp to guide my feet, and a light for my path.
I spend a lot of time emphasizing the importance of Scripture. I feel obligated to do so; too often, the incredible wealth of information about God and God’s plan to rescue humanity from sin is ignored or distorted, despite God’s word being more available now than ever.
Frankly, I’m tired of hearing this sentence, sometimes uttered by churchgoers: “Well, I don’t know what the Bible says about [fill in the blank], but I know what I think.” Christians, we should always base our thinking on what the Bible says. This Spirit-driven revelation goes back not just decades or centuries, but millennia. The most important truths found here are timeless.
I prefer to light what can be a very dark path with a lamp that has proven effective for uncountable generations. Certainly, we can receive a word from God now, through prayer and meditation, or through someone speaking prophetically, filled with the Holy Spirit. But what we hear in those instances will not conflict with what we find in the Holy Bible.
I’ve promised it once, and I’ll promise it again: I will obey your righteous regulations.
As Christians, we have to process this line a little. Obviously, we don’t follow Jewish law to the letter anymore. The bacon cheeseburger I recently had for lunch is proof enough.
We are a people who understand that Jesus Christ focused on the deeper intent of the law, encouraging us to seek a kind of holiness that penetrates our very souls rather than simply restraining our actions. When asked to summarize the law, Jesus made it fairly simple: Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and love your neighbors as you would love yourself. In the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus also made sure the definition of “neighbor” is quite broad.
We also have to develop the ability to discern the scriptural context of regulations. Were they meant for a specific time and community, or are they universal, tied to the very fabric of God’s creation? We focus upon the latter regulations, of course.
Tomorrow, we’ll consider what this psalm tells us about the burdensome aspects of life.
Lord, may your word guide us this day, and when we find ourselves in the dark, may we boldly explore Scripture for enlightenment. Amen.