January 17, 2021

Liturgy of the Psalms-"Your Word is a Lamp to my Feet"


Psalm 119 
Scripture Reading: Psalm 119:1-8, 105-112

In the words of the psalms we hear the liturgy of the Church. Within the 150 psalms we hear calls to Worship, Confession, and Prayer; Listening and Giving. We hear words of Lament and Joy; Fragility and Confidence; words of Sending and Blessing.

In this series on the psalms we have heard God call us to worship in Psalm 95, a call to confession and words of grace in Psalm 51, and this week we have heard from Psalm 119 where we are called to walk in obedience to the Word of God. From the Call to Worship to Confession and Assurance, and now to God’s Will for our Lives, the psalms keep us in the rhythms of wisdom and grace as we live in God’s world.

Psalm 119 is the longest psalm in the Bible and it consists of 22 stanzas of eight verses each. That makes for 176 verses in a single psalm! It’s also an “acrostic poem” which in this case means each verse within each stanza begins with the same letter in the Hebrew alphabet. There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet which is the reason for the 22 stanzas that you can see indicated in your Bible. It was probably written this way to make the psalm easier to memorize. This morning we have read the first stanza and the fourteenth stanza of Psalm 119. Our focus will be on the well-known words of verse 105 which says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”

Questions:

Does the “law” in Psalm 119 refer just to the 10 commandments or is it more?
Are we saved by keeping the law?
How does keeping God’s law make our lives less self-centered and more God-centered?

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” A single verse from the longest psalm in the Bible reveals the entire message. This text is more than just some pretty words for a wall hanging. Psalm 119:105 is a Christ-centered Word that challenges us to be countercultural in a world that seeks Truth elsewhere. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” People will search for truth from all sorts of sources. Today it seems we search for “truth” by which to live our lives from the government, science, social media, and the like. The psalmist dares to say something different. Psalm 119:105 is countercultural because it’s really all about Jesus, if we read it carefully.

Questions:

What is the “Word of God” in Genesis 1?
Who is the “Word of God” in John 1?
What does Jesus say about himself in John 8:12?

Psalm 119:105 is about Jesus: “Your Word – your Son Jesus Christ – is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” The psalmist is telling us that the Word of God, which reveals the light of Christ, is the path towards Truth and life. Jesus is the “Light of the world”. As we live in this world, we need the Word of God to be our guide. We need the Word (Christ) to be our Light and Lamp to guide our feet and lead us in the right path. This is God’s will for our lives. This is how we can be imitators of God’s wisdom.

The apostle Paul in Ephesians 5 writes, “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” “Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.”

As we live our lives in these strange and challenging times, we can do so with confidence in knowing who is in charge of the universe! Loving God and loving our neighbor is the essence of holy living. The God who has called us in his grace and has redeemed us in Jesus Christ, has also given us his Holy Spirit by whose power we can become holy.

The psalmist said, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” This is the grace and truth by which we live our lives. Amen.