Skip to main content

God's Word: A Doorway for Light

“The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.” Psalm 119:130 ESV

We all want to better ourselves. 

We don’t want to better ourselves in the same way. For most of the world, the primary way to improve life is through money. The pursuit of happiness runs the same path as the pursuit of money. A happy life finds itself only in a rich life. And so for a lot of us, our default mindset falls with modern culture rather than biblical mandate when looking for ways to improve ourselves: We naturally assume money will better our lives.

I believe we start at the wrong place. We have the wrong idea of life. Even for the Christian the tendency is to focus on making oneself the center of pleasure, but God did not create us to please ourselves. Nowhere in Scripture does it say, “Follow your dreams. Do what’s in your heart. Live out the path that brings you the most pleasure.” The problem with these statements is that life is not meant for our dreams—life is meant to bring Christ glory. God has an eternal plan that will be carried out according to His self-seeking desire (Eph. 1:11). When one does what is in the heart, we do things like murder, rape, incest, lying, stealing, cheating, deception, etc. (Jer. 17:9; Matt. 15:19). The path we must walk should give God the most pleasure, even if it brings us the most pain. Look at the life of Jesus (Heb. 12:2; Phil. 2:6).

God calls us to a higher life in Christ. 

God imparts to us what will bring Him honor and glory and what will bring us profit and pleasure. We have this blessing by opening His Word. “The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple” (Ps. 119:130 ESV)
His words are the doorway through which light shines to impart discernment to an otherwise naive people. We cannot live better without God’s unfolding light.

How does this bring God honor and glory? 

If God is holy and has mirrored that holiness in His law to where humans are now obligated to reflect that holiness in their lives, the way to honor and glorify Him is to “look” like Him. The way to look like Him is to look like Jesus, and we find that all Scripture points to Christ, the all-perfect human being. We receive the most profit and pleasure by mirroring God because we deeply long for this reality. We desperately want to be what we aren’t: holy. We desperately want to live like we don’t: morally upright.

The teaching in Psalm 119:130 can be stated this way: God’s Word imparts to us understanding for moral instruction. Why do we need moral instruction? The seemingly pointless book of Leviticus emphasizes the main point of God’s primary concern for His people: “You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy” (Lev. 19:2 ESV). And if we’re not holy as He, “Cursed be anyone who does not confirm the words of this law by doing them” (Deut. 27:26). We are lost in a world of condemnation without God’s Word giving instruction on how to live and how to please Him.

Light in Scripture represents life (Ps. 27:1; 36:9; John 1:4), guidance (Ps. 112:4), goodness (Ps. 118:27), understanding (Ps. 119:130), moral excellence (Job 24:13; Is. 5:20), joy (Ps. 97:11). The Hebrew parallelism indicates that the light presented here is given for moral instruction. The first line speaks about the opening (lit. doorway) of God’s Word causing light to shine; but then we must ask what is this light for? The parallel clause makes that plain: it imparts (lit. causes) understanding for the simple. But what does that mean?

The simple in Scripture are represented as the naive. The word in Hebrew for “simple” is related to the word, as the ESV translates it, “unfolding.” “The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.” There is a play on words. The simple are those who are open to all kinds of enticement; they are easily deceived. Therefore they must be well taught. The Hebrew word for unfolding is literally “doorway” or “opening.” I believe the NET (New English Translation) has a better rendition of the word: “Your instructions are a doorway through which light shines….” (Ps. 119:130 NET). The following clause gives meaning to the preceding which answers the question, “What is this light?”

When His word shines light, it provides understanding to those who need it. 

To have understanding means you have the ability to discern right from wrong, that you are able to judge rightly. Throughout our lives—no exceptions—every Christian will have the need for God’s Word to instruct them on how to live morally upright. Sin makes this necessity.

The Holy Spirit does not automatically give you all knowledge on what is morally correct so that you don’t have to labor in the Word in order to gain the perception to discern (Heb. 5:14). If we automatically knew all moral instruction on how to live, we would be robots. We wouldn’t need His Word. We wouldn’t need the Holy Spirit.
Great is the Christian truth: We are becoming one with Christ. Conforming to Christ is guided by the Word which opens its light to what is morally correct and pleasing to God, so that we may receive a heart of wisdom and discernment. We desperately need God’s doorway of light.
Every day the world tries to rob our innocence. No one is free from the lies of Satan and the world—only some are able to discern what’s from him and what’s from Christ. The fallen world, whom Satan is prince, says you can live a moral life without Christ.

Just consider TV shows. You know, the shows that aren’t necessarily violent or full of cursing or sexually explicit, the ones with a TV-PG rating. For instance, take King of Queens, Seinfeld, Friends, House, Grey’s Anatomy, Jersey Shore, Glee, etc. We typically don’t see anything wrong with them. But they all have one thing in common that is often overlooked: They teach us how to live a “good” life without Christ in our lives. (I am not saying I don’t watch these shows. I don’t have a problem watching them, although I don’t much. My point is for us to think about the deceptive—to most of us hidden—lies the world gives us daily.)

God has made life to be a hot pursuit of His holiness. He has elected us so that we would be holy in His sight (Eph. 1:4). We need help in pursuing God’s holiness. God as light represents God as morally excellent, and His moral excellence sets Him apart as completely unique, which makes Him terribly holy. We are not left in the dark. God invites us into His light. 
His Word offers to us light that gives instruction on how to walk the same path of holiness Jesus Christ trekked. God’s Word imparts to us understanding for moral instruction. Not only do we need this, but we also long for it. 
“I open my mouth and pant, because I long for your commandments” (Ps. 119:131 ESV).



Popular posts from this blog

God's Treasures

"but we have this treasure in earthen vessels," 2 Corinthians 4:7

Have you ever felt worthless, or did not perceive the value you have? Have people ever tried to make you feel less than you should about yourself? But who determines your value? Who decides what your appraisal should be? The answer is God.

God has made you, and you are a rare vessel. You are a treasure in an earthen vessel. You are a vessel of honor. Did you know that God does not have a junkyard? The devil tries to convince us that we are useless and obtain no value. But the devil is a liar. God made you and loves you the way you are.

If God be for us, who can be against us? Believe today that God will show Himself to you and allow you to see yourself from His view. Pray this prayer: "Father, I am Your gift, and I will declare Your glory. I worship you this day in the beauty of your holiness. I accept myself for who I am because I am wonderfully and fearfully made. I am made in your image to reflect you…

Failproof Faith

"For if ye do these things, ye shall never fall." 2 Peter 1:10b The author of this book is the apostle Peter. It strikes me funny that he is the one who writes this. It is obvious that he learned through experiences, for he was the one who (in my opinion) struggled the most to stand. He loved God, he followed God, he gave to God, he forsook all, but he struggled in the end to stand. Is this not the real issue in your life, as well?  I am not talking about your love for God or your obedience to God; I am talking about your ability to stand. When Jesus warned Peter about his denial, Peter guaranteed Jesus that he would have his back. When we are faced with real pressure from our peers and the world, we struggle to stand. But how can you go through and not fall? Peter was the perfect portrait for most people.
His name was Simon, which means, "water." Water is unstable (taking on the shape according to its environment) in terms of an element. But Jesus renamed him, Pet…

What Is On Your Mind?

“Think on these things.” Philippians 4:8 The level of our potential depends upon the level of our thinking. If we let our minds wander into doubt and unbelief, we will drown in fear. Fear is false evidence appearing real. We cannot allow ourselves to daydream and let the devil take control of our thinking. Some Christians need to get rid of stinking thinking and get a checkup from the neck up.
Paul compelled the Philippians to think thoughts that are true, just, pure, lovely, of good report, of virtue, and of praise. Negative thinking will not only prevent you from reaching your potential, it will kill your dreams. A person who cannot dream will eventually start having nightmares.
All this week we have been focusing on our thoughts and on meditation. The Hebrew word we have focused on is, “Hagah.” The same word can be translated differently and according to the mental images of the individual. “Hagah” also means to murmur, mutter or mourn. Isaiah declared, “Your tongue hath muttered…