We have read the verse in the Book of Psalms: “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path”. (Psalm 119:105) We may sing along with the songs by Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant (a favorite song of mine!) with that title. But what does it mean that the Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path?
There are many ways we see the power of the Word of God. The Bible tells us it is sharper than any two-edged sword. Hebrews 4:12
But I want to focus on how the Word acts as our guide. It is a ‘lamp unto my feet’ and guides us in our specific situations. So how does God’s Word guide us in our daily walk with Him? Read on to learn more!
Thy Word is a Lamp Unto My Feet – The Power of the Word of God as a Lamp
I believe one of the most amazing ways we see the power of the Word of God, especially when you feel like you are in a dark place, is how it guides each and every one our steps each day. The Word says it is both a lamp and a light. Let’s look at the Word as a “lamp”.
The word “lamp” as used in this verse is from the Hebrew word “niyr“, which, according to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, means ‘to glisten, a candle or light’. A candle or a “glistening lamp” gives off a very small amount of visible light. It is just enough to see right in front of you.
It is not a broad, glaring amount of light, like we would see in modern day flood lights. Rather, picture what you are able to see when you are using candlelight when the power goes out, or while eating a romantic dinner with your spouse.
When you walk through your home in a power outage using just a candle, you can see only a short distance in front of you. It doesn’t illuminate everything around you in a way that makes them clear. But it allows you to see enough.
And a Light Unto My Path – The Power of the Word of God as a Light
The other way the power of the Holy Bible is seen is by being a light to our path.
The Hebrew word for “light” in this verse is the word “‘owr” and means “a light, bright, clear, like morning”. This is a much brighter kind of light. It is a light that is bright enough to see what it around you. It is clear like morning! It is illuminated!
It’s the kind of light you might have on your street or on your home’s walkway, so that people can walk along the path at night safely and can see any dangers that might exist around them.
Thy Word is a Lamp Unto My Feet – How God’s Word as a Lamp Helps Our Walk
Your Word is a lamp unto my feet. As I said, this lamp is something that gives off light but it is a limited light. It doesn’t light a large area as the sun does.
What do our feet do? They take steps forward or backward, they help us to stand and walk. They help us balance and help support our weight.
When God wants us to move in our walk with Him, He often doesn’t show us the whole picture. He wants us to follow the Holy Spirit and let Him lead us step by step without us necessarily knowing of or worrying about the bigger picture because that could lead us to try to control the outcome.
It helps us develop our faith when we need to rely the power of the Word of God every step of the way. It would be easy for us to take certain steps in life if we saw the bigger picture. What measure of faith is there when you know the outcome?
We need God and His Word, the light of God, as truth in our lives to guide each step, maybe not knowing what the next step will bring until we take it.He wants us to follow Him step by step without us necessarily knowing of or worrying about the bigger picture because that could lead us to trying to control the outcome. Click To Tweet
The Word as a lamp also guides our steps to keep us from sin.
Rashi says in his commentary on this verse:
So Rashi saw the lamp in this verse as one that helps a person see a pit that they are about to fall into and saves them from the sin that pit represents.
Thy Word is a Light Unto My Path – How God’s Word as a Light Helps Our Walk
Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path!
The Hebrew word for light here is one I am very familiar with. It is the word or and is used in the Yotzer Or, or Creator of Light, that is one of the blessings said before the Shema in the Shacharit or morning prayers.
This word is used in regards to a bigger light, often used to signify the sun or the heavenly lights. This is clearly a light that is MUCH brighter than a lamp.
A path is the way we are to go. God’s law was given as a light to guide Israel in her ways. His Word is the direction God wants us to take. It leads us to our destination. God’s Word will provide more light on situations in life, a tough decision or difficulties we may find ourselves in. For example, God’s Word says to forgive our enemies.
So God’s Word makes that clear! It is the way of truth for us. If we are in a relationship with someone who has wronged us, maybe an issue in our marriage, there are Biblical verses telling us how to forgive them.
The power of the Word of God is that it IS that source of bright light and it is how it is showing us the path we are to take with this person. He makes it clear in His Word, illuminating it so we know what we must do regardless of how we feel.
However, the steps we have to take to get there may be revealed step by step (the lamp).
God may not show us the next step until we take the first one. He will not show us all the steps at once. Like that candle, we may know the destination we are heading in but can only see the way a step at a time. He wants us to listen to Him and His Word each step we take and rely fully upon Him.
The overall path He shows us is forgiveness and restoration, but the steps to get there may be shown to us along the way. And with each step of obedience, another step may be revealed in the near future.
So God may, at times, only reveal steps along the way without showing the path, and sometimes shows us the path ahead, but we have to wait for Him to light up the steps we need to get there.
Either way, we see the power of the Word of God is in its guidance in all of life!
Thy Word is a Lamp Unto My Feet Meaning – God’s Plan Revealed
God may be putting it on your heart to start a ministry! He may be telling you to write a book! He may be telling you to take a step further into your current ministry!
But He may not reveal to you HOW you will do it.
I have heard story after story of people losing their job and God providing for them month after month, right when they needed it, without showing them ahead of time how it would happen! Sometimes God wants us to rely solely on Him for our provision and not put our faith in ourselves or in other people!
I recall watching Joyce Meyer on TV one day speaking about how she felt God tell her to quit her job as a step forward to the ministry she felt God was leading her into. She didn’t listen completely and instead she began working part time. So she got fired! She said she had never been fired in her life!
But God has a way of putting us where He wants us when we don’t follow His leading!! If we don’t obey or use good judgment, He will sometimes work things out to get us onto the right path to be used by Him! The path for her was enlightened (ministry) but the steps were being revealed one step at a time!
She talked about that period of time after she had lost her job and not knowing where she was going to get the things she needed for her kids or her home, but each time it came down to the wire, God provided everything they needed. She said she had to rely on God for her dish towels! But God wanted her in ministry and part of what she needed to learn was to rely solely on His provision!Sometimes God wants us to rely solely on Him for our provision and not put our faith in ourselves or in other people! Click To Tweet
He didn’t show her how everything was going to play out. He didn’t tell her at the start of the month where all her needs would be met, but he DID meet them.
God provided the light unto her path; her ministry. But he only provided that lamp unto her feet; each step she would have to take to get there.
He wants us reliant on Him in our walk to get to that path! What ways is God showing you the bigger vision without showing you the steps to get there before you take them? Or what ways is God directing your steps without showing you the destination? How is He working on your faith and reliance on Him?
Always remember, no matter how unclear the path, we need to trust and rely on Him and His Word alone and on the finished work of Jesus Christ, the light of the world. An open Bible and the Spirit of God is the way to illuminate our walk and know the path He has for us and the way of life He wants us to live. He will guide as when we place it all in God’s hands.
And in a dark world we need all the light we can get!
Bible Verses About the Power of the Word of God
What Bible verse about the power of the Word of God most resonates with you and gives you confidence as you walk along the path He has lit for you?
2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (NIV)
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. (NIV)
The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. (NIV)
1 Peter 1:25
...but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you. (ESV)
...and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, (ESV)
...so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty,but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. (ESV)
If you are new to studying the Word, check out my post on Bible Study Methods!
CJB – Taken from the Complete Jewish Bible by David H. Stern. Copyright © 1998. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Messianic Jewish Publishers, 6120 Day Long Lane, Clarksville, MD 21029. www.messianicjewish.net.
Tree of Life (TLV) – Scripture taken from the Holy Scriptures, Tree of Life Version*. Copyright © 2014,2016 by the Tree of Life Bible Society. Used by permission of the Tree of Life Bible Society.