Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Word of God: Lamp to the feet, Light to the path
"Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming," says the LORD of hosts.
As Christians, reliance on God’s Word is the only way to live. Just as a lamp brightens a path for our feet to walk, God’s Word provides the illumination and guidance we need to walk in this world. The word translated 'lamp' in this passage is 'niyr' in the original Hebrew. It refers to a small clay lantern with a solitary wick which gives only enough light to take the next step. With enough light to navigate through life, God gives us the direction that we need, not all at once, but as needed. The psalmist describes the Word of God as a lamp carried on his journey to distinguish the way and keep him from stumbling and going astray. The light of God’s Word allows us to see the right direction. It is God’s guidance for our travels through life on earth.
In the wilderness, God had humbled the Israelites by letting them go hungry. Then He fed them with manna so that they would have to depend on Him alone for daily provision. Manna symbolized God’s divine intervention to sustain their lives. If they tried to provide for themselves by storing manna for the next day, the food was always spoiled. Each day, the people had to be fed by God. Through this wilderness test, the people of Israel came to understand that their survival did not depend on God’s gifts alone, but on every word that came out of the mouth of God. Their existence depended on obeying every single one of God’s commands.
Today's portion for meditation, "Malachi" was written at a time where people were longing to hear a word from God. After the Jewish people returned from the Babylonian exile, although the temple was rebuilt, it wasn't comparable to one of the former days. There was slackness of spirit and slackness in worship as they were tired of waiting for God to do something great among them. Because of their despair, they lost all enthusiasm for their worship. Malachi was especially concerned about their empty worship. People began to offer blind animals to God rather than the very best that they had.
For these people in despair, Malachi had good news – God will indeed send "His Word". He begins chapter 3 by predicting the coming of a special messenger “Elijah the prophet.” who will prepare a way for the Lord. Although four hundred years would have to pass before John the Baptist became that lone voice, crying out in the desert and preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, he was to be God's final witness to Israel before, "The Lord, Whom the nation sought, would suddenly come to His Temple."
John was the messenger and Jesus was the Lord about whom Malachi prophesied. John pointed to Jesus Who was the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world. John was the messenger who proclaimed God's Message, and it pointed to Jesus. Jesus was the Message from God - the Word of God - the Word made flesh. Jesus was the Anointed of Israel Who suddenly came to His Temple.
When Jesus was hungry in the wilderness, Satan tried to get Him to rely on his own strength to turn stones into bread—rather than wait on God’s provision. But Jesus did nothing of His own will: "My food," said Jesus "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work" (John 4:34). He relied on every word of God and refused to act independently.
We can trust the Word of God to accomplish whatever purpose God intends for it and to prosper wherever He sends it. For this reason, we ought to study it, meditate on it, hold firmly to it, and hide it in our hearts.
Christians can say to God, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” because the Word of God is the living energy that provides illumination, insight, direction, and guidance for our pilgrimage through a dark and sinful world.
O Lord, open thou my eyes; and I shall see the marvels, or the wonders, that come forth from thy Law.
Thought for the Day
God is the Word and Jesus is the Word, therefore we must put the Word in our heart that we too can become "Walking Bibles " - ManHee Lee