30 Days in the Bible, Day 9: Psalm 119:105-112
If you grew up in a Sunday school or children’s program at a church, you probably memorized Psalm 119:105 at some point. (If you didn’t, you can do it now!) The verse is a tremendous reminder of the fact that the Word of God serves to illuminate for us the correct way we should live. Without it, we could not find our way through the darkness that sin creates in our world.
The remainder of this section of Psalm 119 (the “nun” section*) shows us how that darkness can affect us even when we follow the Lord. These verses speak of the trials we may face in our lives. Verse 107 speaks of suffering, which affects everyone at some time. Many scholars believe that David wrote this psalm, and he certainly experienced suffering in his life, some of which came even though he did what was right in God’s sight. Christians can expect that we will face trials and troubles in our lives as we live in a world corrupted by sin. Yet we can hold up in suffering as we rely on what the Word tells us about our Father and about our Savior.
Verse 109 speaks of danger that even threatens his life. Whether this was a specific danger or just a general statement of the hazards of life, it is a reminder that each day our lives may be at risk. None of us is guaranteed another day. Some Christians today are at risk of being killed, imprisoned, tortured, or exiled for their faith. Even as we face the risks of each day, we must not forget what the Bible teaches us, and allow the Word to draw us to the Lord so He can bring us through.
The danger in verse 110 is different. Here it isn’t the dangers and risks of everyday life, but the challenge of those who oppose God and want to trap us into falling away from Him. By remaining true to the teaching that God has given us in His Word, we can avoid straying from the proper path that it illuminates. The world wants to pull us away from Jesus, and to silence our witness. By remembering the revealed truth given to us through the Word, we can stand in times of trial and temptation.
The Word truly is a light for us, but it isn’t just a light that shines when all is going well. It is a light that takes us through darkness. We certainly live in a dark world today, just as those who lived in David’s time did. That true Word of God, now fully revealing the Savior and Lord who is its central theme, is just as effective for us today as it was for those who first read it. We must continue to allow its light to shine on the paths of our lives so that we might walk in way that please and honors Jesus Christ.
*Psalm 119 is an example of an “acrostic poem,” in which the alphabet is used to give structure to the poem. This psalm is divided into 22 8-verse sections. Each verse of a section begins with the same letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and the sections go through the alphabet in order. In this section, each verse begins with the Hebrew letter “nun.” If you ever wondered why your Bible has Hebrew letters at the head of each section of Psalm 119, here’s your reason.