First Baptist Church of Gurley
Pastor Shane Rodriguez
Lamp - niyr
Posted on September 5th, 2016

What a picture Psalm 119:105 paints for us! "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." We can picture a lone traveler walking in a forbidding wilderness engulfed in darkness. In his hand, however, he holds up a lamp. While its actual candlepower is quite modest, in contrast to the surrounding blackness it blazes like a tiny sun and can be seen by an observer who stands far in the distance. Our traveler does indeed have ample light to illuminate his way down the unfamiliar path.  So while light refers to light itself, not the source of the light, David still illustrates with a lamp because light does have a source. The light of which he speaks is not something mystical, ethereal, or theoretical. It is real and practical and has a literal source. David declares, then, that God's Word is the lamp that lights his path through this forbidding world. What kind of lamp does he picture? The Hebrew niyr refers to the small, bowl-shaped lamp that operated with a wick fed by oil. Such lamps took on various shapes as the centuries passed. What is the application for us, however, thousands of years later? Let us ponder a few types of "lamps" in our day.  The Bible is a reading lamp, with which we can read the very thoughts of God in the quiet hours. It is a miner's lamp, which illuminates the darkest places in the pit but also reveals the gems buried there. It is a safety lamp, which, like the one used by miners many years ago that prevented the lamp flame from igniting dangerous gases, protects us from the unseen dangers lurking around us. It is the lighthouse lamp, which lights the shore and reveals the rocks of ruin that await. It is a hurricane lamp, which like its namesake can never be blown out no matter how strong the wind. It is a street lamp, which illuminates the shadows of the night and reveals enemies that hide there. And it is the hand lamp, the simple flashlight that we can easily carry and point in any needed direction.  Are you ever without your lamp?  

Scriptures for Study: What is David's encouragement in Psalm 18:28?  What is called a lamp in Proverbs 6:23? (A Hebrew Word for the Day: Key Words from the Old Testament by Dr. J. D. Watson)  

In the Shadow of the King, Pastor Shane

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